The Northern Territory’s road toll is at its worst point in years, following the deaths of two motorbike riders in as many days.
- The Northern Territory road toll now stands at 46, compared to 26 this time last year
- Two motorbike riders died in seperate crashes in the past two days
- A man is in a critical condition after a hit-and-run on Friday night
This morning NT Police confirmed a man had died during a motorbike crash about 10 kilometres south of Katherine.
The Stuart Highway was closed in both directions this morning, with police saying it could be hours before it reopens.
Police are continuing to investigate.
On Sunday a 54-year-old woman died following a motorbike crash at Berry Springs, 57 kilometres south of Darwin.
NT Police Duty Superintendent Rob Farmer said she had been travelling west on Old Bynoe Road and crashed into rocks at around 4.15pm.
Other riders commenced CPR on the woman.
Paramedics pronounced her dead when they arrived at the scene.
Major Crash Investigators are preparing a report for the coroner.
The Northern Territory road toll is now at 46, compared to 26 this time last year, and is at its highest point since at least 2011.
In 2010, the road toll for the entire year was 50, while in 2008 it climbed to 75.
St John Ambulance NT operations manager Craig Garraway said the trend was “tragic”.
“Police are doing everything they can to try and stop this stuff. But I don’t know what more we can do,” he said.
“And unfortunately now there’s people planning funerals for Christmas … which is very sad for family and friends and has an impact on emergency service workers as well.”
The fatalities followed a hit-and-run on Friday night that has a 38-year-old man in critical condition at the Royal Darwin Hospital.
The driver did not stop after hitting the man on Bagot Road, south of the Darwin CBD, but called police to turn himself in about five minutes later.
Duty Superintendent Farmer said other travellers pulled over to help the man, including a nurse and surgeon on their way to work.
Meanwhile in Palmerston, a satellite city 20 kilometres from Darwin, a 70-year-old man suffered a deep cut to his mouth during a car-jacking.
Duty Superintendent Farmer said he was in a shopping centre carpark when he was hit in the face and his car keys were stolen.
The car-jacker was then alleged to have driven the stolen car in a pursuit with police.
Duty Superintendent Farmer said dangerous driving forced police to stop giving chase.
The white Holden was found at about 2am Saturday, burned out in a mangrove area at Fannie Bay.
He said police used CCTV to identify a 30-year-old man who was then charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and aggravated unlawful use of a motor vehicle, among other offenses, and will appear in court this morning.
Another crash at about 11pm last night saw three men taken to Royal Darwin Hospital.
Police alleged their ute ran a red light and crashed into a small sedan.
One of the men had serious chest injuries.
The crash occurred near Howard Springs, and closed the inbound lane of the Stuart Highway.
Police are calling for any witnesses to call 131 444 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.