Three dead in tanker smash near Baranduda

UPDATE, 4PM:

MAJOR Collision Investigation Unit detectives have arrived at the crash site on the Yackandandah–Wodonga Road at Staghorn Flat, near Wodonga, where two women and a small child died earlier this morning. 

Police have confirmed the crash claimed the lives of a 67-year-old Yackandandah woman in one vehicle and a woman, 33, and her 4-year-old son, from Allans Flat in the second vehicle.

Police believe a petrol tanker, towing a tanker trailer was travelling south along the road when the trailer became detached as the truck travelled around a left hand bend around 9.30am. 

The trailer is believed to have drifted across the roadway colliding with two on-coming cars. 

The two women and the boy died at the scene.

SES and CFA personnel are at the scene and preparations are underway to decant the fuel from the tanker . 

The driver of the truck, a local man, aged 50, is assisting police with their enquiries. 

Anyone who witnessed the crash should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. 

UPDATE, 2pm

The triple fatality at Staghorn Flat  will result in the Wodonga-Yackandandah Road being blocked through this afternoon.

Police said petrol and diesel would have to be decanted from the BP tanker before investigators from the major collision unit are able to examine the wreckage. 

Supt Paul O'Halloran was unable to say when the road would be reopened.

Motorists are urged to avoid the road near the Lindsay Road intersection.

Paramedics told the ABC the crash was linked to the trailer's tanker becoming loose.

Police believe the crash  happened around 9am. 

They would not say where the victims were from as next of kin were still being notified.  

Local resident Jacqui Scott told The Age she was at home when she found out about the crash and quickly called her husband, who was driving at the time.

“My husband thought I was in the accident and was trying to call me at the same time,” she said

“I then called the school to make sure my kids got there safely.”

She said the deaths would devastate the small community, which was still coming to grips with the deaths of two young local girls who were killed in a crash near the same stretch of road in January.

“It’s generally the locals using that road, so I was concerned it might have been locals involved and have been calling around neighbours,” she said.

The Major Crash Investigations Unit was expected to arrive at the scene about 2.15pm, a police spokesman said. 

Police have asked that anyone who witnessed the crash to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

- with THE AGE

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