Three men have died and two more people are in hospital after a fiery car crash near Chinchilla on Queensland’s Western Downs.
Police said the sedan, with five people inside, hit a tree and caught fire on Chinchilla Tara Road just before 6pm on Thursday.
Two men from Tara, aged 35, 36, and a 40-year-old man from Dalby died at the scene.
The 42-year-old female driver was taken to Chinchilla Hospital with serious injuries, along with a 49-year-old man who had minor injuries.
“The male passenger in the front seat got out and removed the driver from the car,” Acting Superintendent Garrath Channells said.
“The emergency services arrived some time afterwards and tried to provide the support they could.”
The driver has since been transferred to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.
“It would appear that the vehicle has overtaken another car at speed,” Mr Channells said.
“They’ve travelled a short way further down the road. The vehicle’s lost control, and sadly run off the road and collided with a tree.”
He described the accident as “extremely tragic” and said the crash scene would have been confronting for witnesses and the first emergency services to arrive.
The police forensic crash unit remained at the scene, about eight kilometres from Chinchilla, on Friday morning. While the cause of the accident remains unknown, Mr Channells said there had been rain in the area for much of Thursday.
Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh said the deaths would be felt in the tight-knit community of Tara. The town has a population of less than 3000.
“They are a very strong community and it is sad when you lose someone in the prime of their life,” he said.
“There’s going to be some sad families there this morning, these impacts are going to be instantaneous.
“Our condolences to the family, it’s a tragedy. While we don’t know the full situation, I’d just remind people in these wet conditions be very careful.”