Four young people killed in highway crash

[Update 11.45am]

Police have confirmed that all four young people killed in the highway smash near Newrybar this morning were from the northern rivers

They said the driver was a 22-year-old female driver from Ewingsdale, and a 19-year-old man from West Ballina was in the front passenger’s seat. The two rear passengers were a 20-year-old man from Ballina and a 17-year-old girl from Skennars Head. They all died at the scene.

Police have also told media that their car was overtaking a truck over double lines when it went out of control. They say speed, alcohol or fatigue could have been a factor in the accident.

It happened around 1.20am on the single-lane section of the highway, soon to be duplicated as part of the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale highway upgrade.

The accident brought the number of people killed so far in the northern rivers this year to 24, making it the worst in the state for fatal crashes.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to the accident, or who saw either of the vehicles involved immediately before or after it, to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

[Update 8.15am]

One lane of the Pacific Highway near Newrybar has been reopened after this morning’s fatal single-vehicle crash in which four young people died.

Heavy traffic is banked up but moving slowly at both ends of the highway near the crash scene, between Old Byron Bay Road and and Watsons Lane.

It’s believed a car with two males and two females ran off the highway near the highway turnoff and slammed into a tree.

They were identified by police as a 22-year-old woman from Ewingsdale, who was driving, two men from Ballina, aged 19 and 20, and a 17-year-old girl from Skennars Head.

Delays are expected on the highway for some time today.

Police have advised southbound motorists  to use Bangalow Road and the Bruxner Highway via Lismore as an alternative route and northbound motorists to use the Bruxner Highway and Bangalow Road via Lismore.

[Earlier report]

Four people have died following a single-vehicle crash near Ballina this morning which has closed the Pacific Highway.

About 1.20am this morning (Wednesday), officers attached to Richmond Local Area Command were called to reports of a single-vehicle crash on the Pacific Highway, just north of Ballina.

On arrival police located a Hyundai sedan, which appears to have been travelling south along the highway and left the roadway, hitting a tree.

All four people in the vehicle died at the scene.

The Pacific Highway is currently closed and is expected to be for the next few hours.

Police rescue, Crash Investigation Unit and volunteer rescue are at the scene.

No other information is available at this time.

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