POLICE have praised two bystanders who helped extinguish a fire in a car’s engine bay after an accident at Doyalson, saving the life of a 19-year-old woman.
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‘‘It could have been a lot worse,’’ Tuggerah Lakes Police Inspector Chris Wellfare said.

‘‘They fought back the flames.’’

Police believe speed may have been a factor in the single-vehicle crash, which claimed the life of the 20-year-old male driver.

Inspector Wellfare said it took rescue workers about 30 minutes to cut the female passenger out of the vehicle.

She was was airlifted to John Hunter Hospital for treatment of non life-threatening injuries.

Ambulance officers declared the driver, a Central Coast man, dead at the scene.

‘‘Preliminary investigations indicate speed may have been a factor,’’ Inspector Wellfare said.

The accident happened when a southbound Holden Calais ran off the Pacific Highway and hit a tree at about 1.45am on Saturday.