'Scene of utter devastation': Three killed in two-car crash on NSW south coast

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Almost three times as many people have died on NSW roads this Christmas compared to last year after a fiery head-on crash killed three people and left first responders facing a "scene of utter devastation".

A two-car crash on the NSW South Coast has claimed the lives of three people, a scene which left first responders facing "utter devastation".

The crash happened about 10.45am on Tuesday on the Princes Highway at Mondayong, almost 200km south of Sydney.

Three people travelling in two separate cars died in the crash, which happened about 400 metres north of the Bendalong turnoff.

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A man driving a Prado collided with a Mazda which was carrying four people. The man in the Prado and two people in the front of the Mazda were killed.

Two women were pulled from the back of the Mazda by witnesses and police as fire engulfed the vehicles.

They were airlifted to separate hospitals in critical conditions.

Police are working to identify the burnt remains of the dead.

Three people are dead after a two-car crash on Princes Highway on the NSW South Coast.
Three people are dead after a two-car crash on Princes Highway on the NSW South Coast.
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Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said the crash was "an absolute tragedy" and police were investigating reports the Prado was on the wrong side of the road before the crash.

"Three people look like they've been incinerated and we have two very, very critically injured people," he told reporters in Sydney.

"If that doesn't send a message out about driving behaviour on our roads in NSW over this Christmas period nothing will," he added, pleading with motorists to drive safely.

Earlier in the day, a man was killed in a crash on the NSW mid north coast.

He died at the scene at Pappinbarra, near Port Macquarie after the car he was travelling in left the road and hit an embankment, police said.

He has not yet been identified.

An unidentified person, believed to be a man, is dead after the car he was in hit a power pole on Christmas Day near Griffith in the Riverina.

A male pedestrian, struck by a car at Bonnyrigg a few days before Christmas, succumbed to his injuries on Boxing Day, a NSW Police spokesman told AAP.

The crashes mean 19 people have died on the state's roads since December 15, which marked the start of Operation Safe Arrival, the state's Christmas and New Year road safety campaign, compared to seven killed during the same period last year.

"We have gone from disappointed to being angry and that's an understatement," Asst. Commissioner Corboy said.

"It has actually strengthened our resolve and we will be putting in place more and more police officers from now until the end of the year."

Operation Safe Arrival ends at 11.59pm on January 1.

- with AAP

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