POLICE have pleaded with Hunter motorists to make road safety a topic of dinner conversation and hold the drivers in their lives accountable after a horror streak on the region's roads.
A man will face court next month after police laid charges on Wednesday over a New Lambton Heights crash in which a girl, 9, died.
Police were called to McCaffrey Drive about 1pm on Tuesday after a Holden Statesman struck a power pole. An off-duty nurse, paramedics and emergency services treated the nine-year-old at the scene, police said.
The girl was taken to the John Hunter Children's Hospital, where she died a short time later.
A 29-year-old woman was also taken to hospital. Police said on Wednesday she remains in a serious condition.
The vehicle's driver, 25, was taken to the Mater for mandatory testing. He was subsequently arrested and charged with dangerous driving occasioning death, dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, negligent driving occasioning death and negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm. The man received conditional bail to face Newcastle Local Court in September. His driver's licence was also suspended.
Crash investigators continue to examine the circumstances around the incident, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command's Acting Inspector Justin Cornes said.
That accident came just a few hours after a woman died at Catherine Hill Bay following a two-vehicle collision.
Police said they understood a northbound Honda sedan and a southbound BMW struck each other head-on shortly before 8am.
Four others involved in the crash were taken to the John Hunter Hospital for treatment.
"Certainly they are looking into whether speed or distraction were factors in both these crashes," Acting Inspector Cornes said.
First responders from the New Lambton Heights crash were receiving counselling but "preventable tragedies" on the region's roads needed to stop, Acting Inspector Cornes said. "Any death, but particularly when we are talking about the death of a child ... it rips holes in the family fabric for years and years.
"We are no longer interested in excuses for poor driving behaviour," he said. "We are appealing to the public to please make road safety paramount in your hoseholds. Talk about it, talk to your family members."
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