Across the nation this week, the news has been filled with heartbreaking accounts of the lives lost on Australia’s roads.
The deaths of Alina Kauffman and her brother, Ernesto Salazer, just 200 meters away from their home in Sydney’s southwest on Friday night led to an outpouring of grief as a family was torn apart.
The following day, a 53-year-old motorcyclist on a joyride with friends became the latest tragedy when his bike left the road and slammed into a tree northwest of Brisbane.
The deaths come as police across Australia plead with motorists to be safe — September 2022 had the highest number of lives lost out of any month in the past five years.
Here’s what happened on Australia’s roads this week.
A 61-year-old man died on the New South Wales north coast about 5.50am on Monday in a single vehicle crash.
Police believe the driver and sole occupant was travelling north on Broadwater Evans Head Rd, , about 30km south of Ballina, when it struck a tree.
Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Two men were killed in a head-on crash in Central Queensland on Tuesday with one of the vehicles bursting into flames.
Investigators believe a Mazda-3 was travelling east on the Capricorn Highway, near Duaringa, when it crashed with a Toyota Hilux travelling the opposite direction shortly after 8pm.
The driver of the Mazda-3, Raphael Mynott, died at the scene while the male occupant of the Hilux was also killed.
Rockhampton Highway Patrol Officer in Charge Senior Sergeant Ewan Findlater told The Courier Mail the crash was “horrific for all involved”.
“It does appear, at the early stages, that it has been a poor decision made by a driver has led to a double fatality,” he said.
Also on Tuesday, a 28-year-old man was killed when he was struck by a car shortly after 8pm in Far North Queensland.
A Toyota Rav4 was travelling within Bill Reese Park near the rest area, when the vehicle struck the pedestrian.
He was taken to hospital in Cairns but died two days later.
The 27-year-old driver immediately pulled over and started performing CPR.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
A 58-year-old Melbourne traffic controller, Peter Dyck, was killed in the inner northeast suburb of Clifton Hills on Wednesday.
Mr Dyck was working on the Eastern Fwy roadworks when he was struck by a Toyota sedan about 12.15am.
The driver of the Toyota coupe, a 27-year-old man from North Melbourne, was hospitalised after his vehicle lost control and struck the barrier.
Mr Dyck’s family have remembered him as a hardworking father who would always offer to help those in need.
“We are absolutely devastated at the loss of a much loved dad, brother, and friend of many,” they said in a statement.
“He was a hard-worker and there wasn’t many things he couldn’t do.
“Our dad was always the first one to reach out and help others in their times of need.”
Major Collision Investigation Unit detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.
Young father Zach Hunt, 32, was killed in an alleged hit and run in he northern Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth Downs in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Mr Hunt was lying on the road when he was struck by a Holden station wagon at 1am, with the driver allegedly fleeing before police arrived.
The alleged driver, a 29-year-old Craigmore woman, has been charged.
Also on Wednesday, a woman supervising her teenage learner driver son was killed after getting out of the car following a crash with a truck in Sydney’s south-west.
Police believe Leonia Picone was overseeing her 17-year-old son on Wednesday morning at Wetherill Park when the minor collision occurred.
Its understood Mr Picone had exited her vehicle, when the truck allegedly moved forward and struck her.
An elderly pedestrian was killed after she was struck by a car on the Gold Coast.
Police believe the 86-year-old woman was walking across Grice Ave at Paradise Point when she was hit at 4.15pm.
She was transported to the Gold Coast University Hospital but died later in the evening.
The fifth fatality for Wednesday occured five minutes later in New South Wales Orna region.
About 4.20pm a 33-year-old man was killed in a three-vehicle crash on the Golden Hwy — about 22km east of Dubbo.
Police believe the man was driving a sedan when it was involved in a head-on collision with a ute.
The sedan was then struck by a truck which had been traveling behind the vehicle.
The driver of the uten a 17-year-old male, and his passenger, an 18-year-old male, were taken to hospital in stable conditions while the truck driver was uninjured.
About an hour later, the seventh fatality for Wednesday occured when a white Ford Falcon ute crashed with a truck’s trailer in Western Australia’s south west.
WA Police believe the ute came into contact with the trailer on a bend in the road on the South Western Hwy in Boyanup about 7:20pm.
The 48-year-old male driver died at the scene.
The eighth and final fatality on Wednesday occured when a pedestrian was struck by a car in Victoria’s north.
Emergency services rushed to scene on Barmah Shepparton Rd north of Shepparton on Wednesday night about 7.30pm.
Emergency crews tried to revive the man but failed and he died on the scene.
The driver, a woman in her 40s, stopped and police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a fatal collision.
Shortly before 2am on Thursday, the 14th road fatality for the week occurred in Queensland’s Gympie Region.
Initial reports indicated a semi-trailer carrying farm produce was travelling south on the Burnett Highway before leaving the roadway about 2am.
A man, believed to be the driver and sole occupant, died prior to the arrival of emergency crews.
A full load of farm produce, mostly cartons of pumpkins, could be seen strewn alongside the highway.
Just two hours later a man was killed in Western Australia when his truck collided with a tree.
Police believe a Hino tray top truck was driving south on River Rd in West Toodyay when it left the roadway about 3.55am.
The 36-year-old male driver died at the scene.
In Victoria two married couples, aged in their 70s, were killed when the car they were travelling in collided with a truck just before 10.30am on Thursday.
The group had stopped in the Victorian border town of Chiltern, “for a break and a coffee” and were struck pulling back onto the Hume Fwy.
Trevor and Lorraine Breen of Wagga Wagga were identified as one of the couples killed.
Victorian Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Glenn Weir described the crash as a “catastrophic collision” and said the two couples were killed “instantly”.
“It is another tragic reminder of how what appears to be a moment's inattention can lead to such catastrophic outcomes,” he said.
“You can travel 300km and do the right thing for 299.9 kilometres but one mistake is unforgiving, the roads are unforgiving.”
Also on Thursday, a man died following a fiery single-vehicle crash in New South Wale’s south.
Emergency services were called to Old Wagga South Rd — about 15km southwest of Temora — after reports of a single-vehicle crash about 8.30pm.
Police believe a Toyota Landcruiser utility was travelling south when it left the road and collided with a gum tree before catching alight.
The 40-year-old driver and sole occupant died at the scene.
On Friday Alina Kauffman, 24, and her 15-year-old brother Ernesto were killed in a head-on collision in Sydney’s south.
Three cars, a black Mercedes SUV, a Toyota Echo and a Toyota Rav4, were involved in the incident that occurred on Sadleir Avenue in Heckenberg.
Police believe the allegedly-stolen Mercedes collided head-on with their Toyota Echo about 9.20pm before hitting a stationary Toyota RAV4.
The three men inside the Mercedes allegedly fled the scene in a Volkswagen Golf, allegedly leaving Alina and Ernesto to die.
A man has since been charged.
On Saturday, Acting Assistant Commissioner Anthony Boyd described the crash as “abhorrent behaviour”.
“Road trauma is a catastrophic for everyone involved. Not only the victims in the actual collision themselves, but the communities and the families of those victims down the track,” he said.
On Saturday morning a 57-year-old man was killed after crashing into a paddock in New South Wales’ Mid North Coast.
Police believe the station wagon left the road about 1am on Taylors Arm Rd in Upper Taylors Arm, travelling down an embankment before crashing into a paddock.
The driver was treated at the scene by paramedics but died at the scene.
Two people were killed in Western Australia’s Great Southern region about 7.30am on Saturday.
Initial reports indicate a vehicle had rolled onto its roof on Borden-Bremer Bay Road in Boxwood Hill.
Two occupants died at the scene while two others have been taken by St John WA to Albany Hospital.
Just two hours later, a 54-year-old motorcyclist, out for a ride with friends, died when he struck a tree about 130km northwest of Brisbane.
Emergency services were called to Emu Creek Rd at Colinton at 9.45am following reports of the accident.
The 53-year-old male rider from Dinmore was declared deceased at the scene.