Just after 11pm yesterday (Thursday 22 October 2015), emergency services were called to the Bucketts Way, Wards River, about 3km north of Monkerai Road.
A car, with two men inside, had left the road and hit a tree, the driver – a 24-year-old man – died at the scene.
His passenger suffered minor injuries and was taken to John Hunter Hospital by NSW Ambulance Paramedics.
Officers from Port Stephens Local Area Command established a crime scene and will conduct inquiries to determine the cause of the crash.
A report will be prepared for the Coroner.