THE family of the man tragically killed in a single-vehicle accident near Bendemeer on Sunday night is remembering him as a fun-loving grandfather.
Brian Kenneth Swift, 42, was killed when the southbound utility he was driving left the New England Highway, about 15km south of the Oxley Highway, hit a guardrail and overturned, according to police.
It is believed he was ejected from the car and died at the scene about 6.50pm.
Tributes have since flowed for Mr Swift, who was born and bred in Walcha, but had moved to live on a farm in Bendemeer with his wife.
He is being remembered as a doting family man, who loved his work as a truck driver.
“He was a fun-loving father and grandfather,” his eldest child of six, Monique Robyn, told The Leader.
“I have four little girls who are obviously his grandchildren and the three oldest who got to meet him, loved him.
“He was always fun to be around.
“He loved trucks and was a truck driver (for the) majority of his life.”
News of his death rocked the wider community, as tributes began to flood social media.
“He will be missed by many,” Ken Mclean wrote on Facebook.
Jane Gaskin sent her condolences to his family and friends.
“So sad,” she said.
Peter Baker also paid tribute.
“RIP Swifty,” he wrote on Facebook.
“So sad prayers for the family,” Susanne Douglas said.
The crash closed the New England Highway in both directions for about seven hours.
Diversions were put in place, but motorists faced significant delays.
Live Traffic NSW reported the highway was re-opened about 2am Monday.
Mr Swift’s death was one of two to occur during day three of the NSW Police long weekend road operation.
A 78-year-old man also died in a single-vehicle crash near Dunedoo on Sunday afternoon.
Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, said he was saddened to see that more lives have been lost on the state’s roads.
“That’s two more men who did not go home to their families last night,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
NORTH OF TAMWORTH: New England Hwy has been reopened in both directions 15km south of Oxley Hwy following an earlier car crash at Bendemeer.— Live Traffic NSW (@LiveTrafficNSW) June 11, 2017
“Fatalities affect a whole community. It never gets any easier telling someone that their loved one won’t be returning home.”
A report will be prepared for the Coroner.