Community in shock over highway crash that killed three

UPDATE: POLICE are still trying to contact relatives of the three Vanuatu nationals who died in a head-on highway collision at El Arish, south of Cairns.

Cassowary Coast Councillor Wayne Kimberley said the group had been staying at the Digger Creek caravan park near where the crash involving a mini bus and a semi-trailer occurred on the Bruce Hwy.

He said they and two others, who were injured in the crash, were from Vanuatu and had been working in the area.

Police had made contact with the Vanuatu consulate and are in the process of making contact with their family.

Two men, aged 24 and 35, who were seriously injured in the crash were in a stable condition at Innisfail hospital. All five had been travelling in the mini bus.

The driver of the semi-trailer, a 64-year-old man from Tully, was uninjured.

"It's a horrible thing to happen," Cr Kimberley said.

The El Arish community was in shock.

"Everyone knows everyone in the region. It's an absolute tragedy."

The Cairns Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

Innisfail Police Acting Inspector Peter Williamson said the investigation would look into whether one of the Fatal Five was involved in the crash.

"Police are interested in talking to anyone who saw a white Toyota mini van driving around the Tully and El Arish area overnight," he said.

"Being the first day of the school holidays, we're off to a bad start."

This article originally appeared on the Cairns Post.

Three dead in horror highway crash

EARLIER: THREE people have been killed in a horror crash on the Bruce Highway early Saturday morning.

It is understood that around 2.30am a semi-trailer travelling south at El Arish, near Innisfail, collided head on with a mini bus travelling in the opposite direction.

The driver and two passengers of the minibus were declared deceased at the scene.

Two other passengers of the bus were taken to Innisfail Hospital.

The truck driver was not injured.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the cause of the crash while the Bruce Highway remains closed with diversions in place for cars only.

News Corp Australia

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