TRAGEDY unfolded on the Pacific Hwy on Saturday when two women, aged 46 and 72, died following a multi-vehicle crash south of Valla.
A four-wheel-drive, a ute and a moped were involved in the collision that occurred 1km south of the Valla Beach Rd turn-off at about 2.15pm.
An initial investigation found the four-wheel-drive had been travelling on the wrong side of the road moments before the crash, and as it turned back to the correct lane it collided with the moped, before losing control and careering into the oncoming ute.
The 46-year-old female moped driver, of Bulahdelah, and the 72-year-old female passenger of the four-wheel-drive, of Wingham, died at the scene.
The 67-year-old male driver of the four-wheel-drive, also of Wingham, remains in a critical condition in Gold Coast Hospital.
The 31-year-old male driver of the ute, of Byron Bay, was taken to Coffs Base Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Mid North Coast Crash Investigation Unit Senior Constable Jason Bentley said it was yet to be determined why the four-wheel drive had been travelling on the wrong side of the road.
"There are double lines (in that section of road) and it seems something out of character for a driver of his experience," Const Bentley said.
"We're trying to determine if the driver had a medical episode or if something else happened.
"It will take time to speak to witnesses and to see what transpires from medical investigations."
The crash closed the Pacific Hwy in both directions for more than two hours, causing extensive delays for motorists. A report will be forwarded to the coroner.
UPDATE: TWO people have died and another two people have been injured following a crash at Valla.
At about 2.15pm on Saturday, a crash involving a four-wheel-drive, a moped and a utility occurred on the Pacific Hwy about 1km south of the Valla Beach Road turn-off.
The female moped rider and female passenger of the 4WD died at the scene.
The male driver of the 4WD has been taken to hospital in a critical condition, whilst the male driver of the utility has been taken to Coffs Base Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Police will investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash and prepare a report for the information of the Coroner.
All northbound and southbound lanes reopened at about 7:45pm but motorists are still being advised to expect delays.
Anyone who witnessed the crash and hasn't yet spoken to police is urged to come forward.
4PM: ONE lane of the Pacific Hwy has reopened in Valla after a serious car accident just south of Valla Beach Rd.
Motorists travelling in both directions are taking turns to use that lane under alternating (stop/slow) traffic control.
Traffic in the area is still very heavy and motorists are experiencing significant delays.
3PM: THE Pacific Hwy is closed in both directions at Valla due to a serious traffic incident south of Valla Beach Rd.
There are initial reports of multiple fatalities, however, this has not been confirmed.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area as there is currently no suitable diversion.
Emergency services and traffic crews are responding to the accident.
More information will be made available as it comes to hand.
For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com or call 132 701.
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