A critical incident investigation has been launched following a fatal smash near Cessnock.
It's alleged the driver of a Nissan Navara took off at speed after spotting police on Richmond Vale Road, Richmond Vale at around midday.
The car has then collided with a tree, and despite the best efforts of emergency crews the man behind the wheel was unable to be revived.
An investigation is now underway, and a report will be prepared for the coroner.
It's alleged police had been making inquiries to locate the 60-year-old prior to the fatal crash.