POLICE are warning travellers not to leave their cars if they become stranded in remote areas of Australia.
It follows the death of 33-year-old Brian Gadd in the NSW outback earlier this week.
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The Herald Sun reports Mr Gadd, from Ballarat, was travelling with a 24-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man when their Hyundai Excel ran off the road into scrub about 150km from Broken Hill, in the state's far west, about 12pm on Tuesday.
The following day, Mr Gadd was found dead about 1km from his car, which the group had abandoned at a dam known as the Bondi Tank, on private property in Langawirra Station, near Mutawintji National Park.
An aerial search had detected the car at 8pm the previous night, hours after the woman made a mobile phone call to triple-0 to say they were lost before the call dropped out.
The call had bounced off a phone tower about 35km east of the dam, allowing police to trace the car's location.
However, all three passengers had, by that point, walked in different directions.
The woman walked 20km west through the night until she reached another private property - a sheep station in Acacia Downs - and raised the alarm at 9.40am.
A ground search then located the body of Mr Gadd and the male survivor, who walked 15km northeast from the watering hole and was suffering from exposure and severe dehydration.
Superintendent Brad Hodder said the circumstances surrounding the crash and the man's death were being investigated, with a report being prepared for the Coroner.
"Had they remained with the vehicle, they would have been located at 8pm the previous night," Supt Hodder said.
"I'd say (they separated) just to go and get help."
He said the three were dressed "scantily" and without adequate provisions for the night, other than some water, and were completely unprepared for the "extremely hot" conditions and rough terrain they encountered.
He said it was too early to say whether charges would be laid over the crash, or whether drugs and alcohol were involved, but the death was not being treated as suspicious.
The survivors, who were treated at Broken Hill Hospital before being discharged late on Wednesday afternoon, were yesterday "fatigued" and "still suffering from the trauma", Supt Hodder said.
They had yet to make a statement to police.
They arrived at the police station at about 1pm before driving off once they spotted waiting media.
"We are encouraging any person travelling in remote locations to ensure they have spoken to local information centres, automotive clubs such as NRMA and to take enough supplies to cater for any incidents that may result in them being stranded," Supt Hodder said.
Read more at the Herald Sun