BY IAN CROUCH

A salvage operation to remove a horse transport which overturned on the New England Highway early Tuesday morning has wrapped up and traffic is slowly returning to normal.

Two trucks collided on the highway near Hermitage Road just after 4.30am.

Both male drivers were uninjured and underwent a roadside breath test, returning negative results.

A rescue team managed to extricate the horses from the upturned truck.

One horse was euthanised due to a broken leg, while the other four were assessed by a passing veterinarian.

 EARLIER:  

 Emergency services are at the scene of a truck crash at Belford south of Singleton.

A horse transport vehicle carrying five live horses has overturned on the New England Highway near Hermitage Road just after 4.30am on Tuesday, with the highway closed in both directions.

Three people in the truck have managed to free themselves and have not suffered any serious injuries.

However, the horses are trapped inside the truck and rescue teams have been sent to release them – their condition is not yet known.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

The horse transport vehicle ended up on its roof at Belford. Picture: Live Traffic NSW