Three dead after highway crash
THE truck driver involved in last night's triple fatality at Ewingsdale, near Byron Bay, has told police there was nothing he could do to avoid the collsion which killed the young Ocean Shores men, aged 22, 23 and 25 about 8.15pm.
The B-double semi trailer smashed into the driver’s side of the maroon Subaru sedan with such impact the vehicle rolled a number of times and the 23-year-old learner driver and back seat passenger were killed instantly, Tweed Byron Local Area Command Acting Superintendent Owen King said.
The front seat passenger was still showing signs of life when police arrived on scene, but died shortly after.
The Subaru was struck by the south bound semi-trailer as it attempted to turn onto the Pacific Highway northbound lane from Ewingsdale’s notorious Woodford Lane interchange.
Supt King briefed media this morning and said the tragic incident would be felt by the whole community.
He revealed some of the first police on the scene knew the deceased, whose identities have not yet been released as police seek to alert all their family members.
“These things take their toll not only on the community, but also on the emergency services,” he said, adding counseling would be provided.
“Some of the police present knew the deceased, so it does take its toll.”
The crash is the second triple fatality in the Tweed Byron command in two months, the previous being on Tweed Valley Way, near Tumbulgum, on August 19.
“This is the second time a learner driver has been involved in a triple fatality in our command, which is a concern to us.”
The 51-year-old driver of the heavy vehicle escaped uninjured. The Sydney man passed an initial test for drugs and alcohol on Thursday night, but police await blood analysis to confirm the result.
“The driver of the B-double was extremely shaken and states he could not avoid the collision at all. He is physically uninjured but I am sure there will be an emotional injury for him.”
Supt King wouldn’t comment on any further details of the crash and said a report would be prepared for the coroner.
Acting Inspector Bill Darnell said he believed the red Subaru Liberty sedan the men were travelling in turned into the path of a southbound B-double truck thought to be travelling at 100 km/h.
When asked about the notorious Woodford Lane interchange, Supt King said: “Historically, there has been a number of collisions at that intersection and I am aware the Byron Shire Coucnil is investigating closing the access road from Woodford Lane onto the Pacific Highway.”
Police are preparing a report for the coroner and have asked for any witnesses to contact Byron Bay Police Station via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.