| 26.02,20. 01:44 PM |
Baby, 4yo survive crash which kills father and two others in Tasmania's north
Photo: A number of people were taken to the Launceston General Hospital. (ABC News: Chook Brooks)
| Photo: A ute and a four-wheel drive collided about 5:30am. (ABC News: Chook Brooks) |
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Three people have died in an early morning crash on a highway in Tasmania's north, but two young children who were travelling in the back seat of one of the cars have survived.
Emergency services were called to the scene on the Bass Highway near Carrick, between Oaks Road and Illawarra Road, about 5:30am after a ute and car collided head-on.
In a statement, Tasmania Police said "sadly, three people have died as a result" of the crash.
"Initial investigations indicate that the male driver of a white Toyota Prado heading towards Launceston crossed over onto the incorrect side of the road and into the path of a silver Mazda BT50 utility heading towards Deloraine," police said.
"The driver's two children aged 4 years and 9 months were in the rear seat of the Prado," police said.
The two children were taken to the Launceston General Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Children's father 'not wearing seat belt', police believe
Speaking at a press conference this morning, Commander Brett Smith said it was believed the driver of the Prado was not wearing a seatbelt.
"Both children were in child restraint devices and both were secured," he said.
"This is an absolute tragedy … not a good day for our road safety community."
He said a number of police were looking into the reasons why the Prado driver was on the wrong side of the road, but said it was "inappropriate to speculate".
Commander Smith said police did not believe speed was a factor and that it was not raining at the time, but that investigators were awaiting the results of drug and alcohol tests.
Those involved were "all Tasmanian locals", Commander Smith said, adding he could not confirm the ages of any of the men who died.
He said he was unaware if any of the people involved were previously known to police..
The Bass Highway this morning remained completely blocked between Oaks and Illawarra roads.
Diversions were in place along Meander Valley Road between Hagley and Launceston.
Police said the diversions were expected to remain in place for a considerable amount of time.
Anyone who witnessed the crash, or who saw the vehicles beforehand, is urged to contact Tasmania Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000 or online at crimestopperstas.com.au.