Inquiries are underway into a single-vehicle crash near Cessnock overnight.
About 11.15pm on Thursday night, emergency services were called to a private road at Pelaw Main and found a Subaru Forrester had hit a barrier.
A 17-year-old youth suffered critical injuries after he was thrown from the front passenger seat and died at the scene.
The 17-year-old driver of the vehicle was taken to John Hunter Hospital with minor injuries; he's also undergone mandatory testing.
Officers from Hunter Valley Police District established a crime scene and have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash.
A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.