Three people from one vehicle have died in a horror smash in Whitlam this afternoon, while a fourth is fighting for their life in hospital.
Police said a red Toyota hatchback and a white Toyota van collided on Coppins Crossing Road at about 2:45 pm just south of Hazel Hawke Avenue.
The three killed were adult passengers in the hatchback, while the driver of the hatchback and the driver of the van were taken to hospital.
Police said the driver of the hatchback was in a critical condition.
This brings the ACT road toll for the year to 17 after two recent fatal accidents.
ACT Fire and Rescue’s Superintendent Jim Walsh said his team was confronted with four people in the hatchback who had to be cut from the vehicle using the Jaws of Life equipment
“A number of them were pronounced deceased on the scene by ACT Ambulance Service,” he said.
Detective Superintendent Mick Calatzis said the accident was now the subject of an ongoing investigation and he would not speculate on the cause or circumstances of the accident.
But he urged Canberra drivers to slow down.
“It’s an ongoing investigation. We won’t speculate at this stage, but lower speed means that people are safer on the road,” he said.
“There’s 17 people this year that won’t be with their families. Our empathy goes out to them.
“I won’t speculate on speed, but it’s just common sense. Slow down, one or two minutes to get there later won’t hurt anybody. You need to come home alive to your families.”
Superintendent Walsh echoed that sentiment, saying accidents such as these significantly impacted police and rescue crews.
“Regrettably, the emergency services have had to attend another fatal accident on ACT roads this year,” he said.
“The impact that it has on all emergency service staff and attendees who attend these incidents is significant and ongoing. We will be supporting all our staff through a number of mechanisms to ensure their wellbeing is looked after.
“All we can do is support our ACT Policing message in that slowing down the extra one or two minutes that will take you to get to your destination safely removes all the trauma for families, friends and emergency service workers in these situations.”
Anyone who has dashcam footage or witnessed either of these vehicles in the area prior to 2:45 pm is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website.