A terrible accident occurred at Hinton Punt on a dark rainy night, the 2nd of May, 1892, involving Fry’s Mail Coach. The coach left Dungog at 2.30pm for Maitland via Clarencetown and Hinton.
After leaving Hinton Post Office at 8.30pm the driver moved the coach over to allow an oncoming buggy to pass. A wheel dropped into a culvert opposite Watsons store, throwing him off the coach. The horses then bolted and went around the Victoria Hotel corner at a furious pace and down towards the punt, unchecked. The gates of the punt were open at both ends. The shocked puntman tried to lock the gate on the riverside but it was too late. The horses galloped on through the punt into the river. Three men riding on top of the coach, jumped off, on the punt. A woman, Mrs Cross with her son, who were in the coach, drowned. A man riding inside the coach with them managed to save himself. The coach, with the drowned horses, was pulled out of the river at 3 o’clock, the next morning. The bodies were taken to the Victoria Hotel. The mail bags were dried out however one lost bag had contained six hundred pounds.