Emergency services at the scene of a crash on Kyogle Rd, Fernside.
Emergency services at the scene of a crash on Kyogle Rd, Fernside. Marc Stapelberg

Father of four's death brings local road toll to 17

THE TRAGIC death last Friday of a father of four from Horseshoe Creek is being felt across the greater Kyogle community.

Simon Cieslak, 48, died following a three car crash on Kyogle Rd at Fernside, 10km west of Lismore.

Mr Cieslak, was driving towards Lismore in a 100kmh zone when his Nissan Cube struck an oncoming Toyota Corolla.

The Cube then continued on after the initial impact and hit a Nissan Dualis.

One of Mr Cieslak's sons, 12, was sitting in the Cube's front passenger seat and suffered suspected spinal injuries and fractures in his ankle and foot. He was transported to Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane but has since been released.

Mr Cieslak's 27-year-old son suffered shock and was treated at Lismore Base Hospital.

The 41-year-old driver of the Corolla suffered cuts and abrasions while the driver of the Dualis, a 26-year-old from Casino, suffered fractures.

Local police assisted by the North Coast Crash Investigation Unit and the Vehicle Examination Unit are trying to ascertain the exact circumstances of the incident.

Their investigation will include considerations of whether the Cube suffered a mechanical fault in the moments prior to the crash or whether Mr Cieslak suffered a medical episode.

Road toll tragedies

Mr Cieslak's death sadly brings the annual road toll in the Richmond and Tweed-Byron police commands to 17.

Across greater NSW, 21 people have lost their lives in the holiday season alone,despite a huge effort by police to reduce road fatalities.

Northern Borders Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Chad George said Christmas was a notorious time of year on our roads.

"It's a busy time of year where you see increased numbers of people on the road... often people are driving long distances," Sgt George said. "That places them in not only unfamiliar surroundings, but puts them in the fatigue zone where they can get distracted and that's when crashes tend to happen."

Sgt George said one of the biggest dangers was people rushing around at Christmas which lent itself to distraction.

He also noted that more than 80 per cent of fatal crashes in the Northern Rivers involved local residents.

"If people use common sense, stick to the speed limit, don't drink and drive, and take regular breaks, then more often than not they're going to arrive their destination safely."