A teenage boy is dead after an "absolutely tragic" accident in which two cars collided and were then hit by a truck in central-western NSW.
The 15-year-old was a passenger in a Toyota utility that rear-ended a BMW on the Mitchell Highway at Orange on Friday evening as the other car waited to turn off the highway.
When got out of the car to check on the occupants of the BMW, both cars were struck by a prime mover coming in the other direction.
The boy died at the scene.
Acting Inspector Josh Dixon told reporters the initial collision was "very minor".
"The (boy) was trying to do the right thing, absolutely," he said.
"It's absolutely tragic that this is the result."
The 17-year-old Toyota driver and the man and woman in the BMW, aged 72 and 71, were taken to Orange Hospital.
The older two suffered "some pretty serious injuries", Insp Dixon said.
The 48-year-old truck driver was released after being taken to hospital for mandatory testing.
Police are investigating the incident.
Australian Associated Press