A STREET race in Dubbo ended in tragedy after both vehicles crashed, leaving one driver dead and the other in a critical condition.
The fatal incident occurred around 11.50pm on Saturday night and involved a 20-year-old male driver and 19-year-old male passenger in a white Holden Statesman, and a 20-year-old male driver behind the wheel of a white Mitsubishi FTO.
The 19-year-old passenger, who sustained serious neck injuries, was freed by the Volunteer Rescue Association and fire brigade after 25 minutes but remained on the scene until the deceased male driver of the Statesman was also removed from the vehicle around an hour later.
The male driver of the Mitsubishi was thrown from the vehicle and landed around five metres from the car on the roadway.
He was treated by ambulance paramedics at the scene and was taken to Dubbo Base Hospital before being airlifted to St George Hospital yesterday in a critical condition.
The 19-year-old male passenger was also taken to Dubbo Base Hospital.
Residents who witnessed the aftermath of the accident described the scene as “absolutely shocking”.
According to police and witnesses, the two cars were said to be involved in a drag race heading south along Brisbane Street when the vehicles independently lost control.
The Daily Liberal understands two other men had left the vehicles prior to the race and were nearby.
Tyre marks show the Statesman slammed into a tree on private property while the Mitsubishi clipped a power pole, hitting another tree on an adjoining property.
The impact resulted in a blackout in the area.
Bev Ryan knew something was wrong when she heard the screech of tyres.
Waking her husband Mick after the impact, the couple discovered the Mitsubishi crushed against a tree in their front yard.
“I heard the speeding car and thought it was just one car,” Mrs Ryan said.
“I kept thinking please slow down, please slow down, because every car loses control on the rise on that stretch of the road.
“Then the crash, crash, crash, lights, flashing lights ... it was shocking, absolutely shocking.”
The Ryans’ neighbour Tony Ray was also woken by the impact and compared the scene to a bomb site.
Mrs Ryan said just prior to the race two of the boys said they weren’t participating and got out of the cars.
She said they were nearby and saw it all happen.
“They are going to have to live with that for the rest of their lives,” she said. “They kept saying we don’t want to go to a friend’s funeral.
“Well they've got to now.”
Detective Sergeant Mark Meredith said tragedies of this nature were devastating for family and friends but the effect on the wider community must also be taken into account.
“I suppose it's the collateral damage this leaves on a community like ours, it leaves you numb,” he said.
“Speed and inexperience coupled with risk-taking behaviour are the ingredients for tragedy.”
Detectives from the Orana LAC are continuing investigations and will prepare a a report for the coroner.