Four young sisters aged from two to nine have died alongside two adults – believed to be their parents – in a horror road crash in the Northern Territory.
The six were from Lajamanu, a remote Indigenous community halfway between Darwin and Alice Springs.
They were travelling in a Mitsubishi Pajero when it veered onto the wrong side of the Stuart Highway and into the path of a triple road train loaded with fuel near Pine Creek, 630km north of Lajamanu, at about 4.40pm on Friday.
Central Desert Regional Council CEO Leslie Manda confirmed that one of the adults who died had been a council employee.
A friend said the children were ‘all tiny tots which makes this all the harder’, and that the ‘devastated’ community of Lajamanu had been holding traditional ceremonies for the family ‘at this dreadful time’.
The vehicles exploded into a fireball when the road train collided with the Mitsubishi Pajero that was carrying two adults and four sisters aged two to nine
Police said ‘nothing is ruled out’ in their investigation into the cause of the crash – and that alcohol, fatigue, domestic violence or mechanical failures could have caused the 4WD to swerve into the road train.
The vehicle was on fire for more than five hours after colliding with the truck in the Katherine region.
Police said the ‘intensity of the fire meant that there was little human remains left’.
Mr Manda said hundreds of mourners would be converging on Lajamanu and surrounds in coming days for ‘sorry camps’ held for grieving family and friends.
The community is still reeling from the recent deaths of two adults in a car crash on the Buntine Highway near the Victoria River, 150km north of Lajamanu.
‘They just finished sorry business for that. Now they are starting all over again but especially for the girls all aged under 10. Just devastating,’ the friend said.
The four sisters and two adults – believed to to be their parents – all died in the crash, while the driver and co-driver in the truck both survived
The girls and two adults come from Lajamanu (above) a tiny desert community half way between Darwin and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory
The impact caused the truck to erupt into a fireball which engulfed both vehicles and made it impossible for the truck driver to try and remove the passengers.
One onlooker told Nine News that when the road train driver ‘tried to help the family… he had just got away with his life, I’ll never forget the look on his face’.
NT Police Commissioner Michael Murphy said police had ‘never seen anything like’ the scale of the accident.
‘While we call it an accident, it’s not really an accident,’ he said.
“There’s some sort of element involved that could contribute to that whether it’s mechanical, it could be road surface, it could be roadway, human.’
The crash occurred on the Stuart Highway just a few kilometres south of Pine Creek
Police don’t believe there was any wrongdoing by the truck driver, who was travelling with a co-driver.
‘They have a number of injuries but the psychological injuries they’ll carry for the rest of their lives,’ Cr Murphy said.
Road train company Shaw’s Transport issues a statement saying: ‘Our sympathy and condolences are offered to the family and friends of those who lost their lives
‘It is expected (the truck drivers’) injuries will heal over time and we are arranging support counselling for them and their families.’
The collision is the deadliest territory road crash in more than 15 years.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk