Emergency services were called to Junction Point Road, near Binda, about 35km from Crookwell. Picture: TNV
Emergency services were called to Junction Point Road, near Binda, about 35km from Crookwell. Picture: TNV

Australian wool patriarch killed in horror crash

The family of legendary wool producer Trevor Picker are in mourning after he was killed in a horrifying car crash in the NSW Southern Tablelands on Friday night.

The 91-year-old Order of Australia recipient, who was the head of the Picker family wool dynasty, was killed just after 5pm when his black Subaru was obliterated in a four car smash on Junction Point Rd near the tiny town of Binda NSW.

It is a short drive from Mr Picker's home in the 245 person town of Bigga, were the family's Hillcreston Merino stud was founded in 1910 and grew to the point where it received international acclaim for producing the world's best wool.

The man known as "Pop" leaves behind a massive family, many of whom live in Bigga, including more than 20 grandchildren and several others that are due to be born by the end of this year.

Mr Picker's family have been approached for comment but are understood to be still processing the devastating news.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash but investigators believe a white Nissan Patrol was was being driven south by a 24-year-old Crookwell man when the devastating crash occurred with the three cars travelling north.

The 24-year-old was airlifted to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Crash Investigators have begun an examination of the fatal crash. Picture: TNV
Crash Investigators have begun an examination of the fatal crash. Picture: TNV

Police said the Nissan's first impact was with a white Subaru driven by a 64-year-old woman from Goulburn, which rolled and landed with its wheels off the road.

Remarkably, the 64-year-old woman only sustained minor injuries and was taken to Goulburn Hospital by ambulance.

The Nissan then collided with Mr Picker's black Subaru and the result was far worse with the impact rendering his car almost unrecognisable.

A third crash occurred when a Toyota Kluger containing a 69-year-old man and 57-year-old woman, both from Greystanes, tried to avoid the wreckage but also struck the Nissan.

Both were taken to hospital by ambulance.

Two rescue helicopters were called to the scene and police worked with ambulance workers and firefighters as well as volunteers from the local Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service who rushed to the scene.

The word of Mr Picker's death began filtering through to members of the tiny town shortly after the accident.

"He and his family are so well respected in this town, it's just awful," said one local business owner who did not want to be named.

The Picker name is revered in the tiny town, which is known as the "Land of the Golden Bale", thanks to the family's success in the wool industry.

The Picker's Hillcreston Merino stud was founded in Bigga in 1910 by Mr Picker's father Sam Picker.

This came after Mr Picker's great-grand father William Picker migrated to Australia from rural Lincolnshire in 1853.

It has remained in the family ever since.

Mr Picker started work at 14-years-old as a self taught wool classer and spent his life building up the family business's reputation around the world to the point where he was honoured with an Order of Australia in 1988 for his services to the wool industry.

By 2004, the business was being run by Trevor and his wife Janet in partnership with their four sons Danny, Murray Grant and Brett.