The Subaru Liberty sedan, in which three young men died after being hit by a B-double on the Pacific Highway 2km north of the Byron Bay interchange, is removed from the scene.
The Subaru Liberty sedan, in which three young men died after being hit by a B-double on the Pacific Highway 2km north of the Byron Bay interchange, is removed from the scene. Jay Cronan

Three lives taken in horror crash

THE DEATHS of three young men in Thursday night’s collision at Ewingsdale have sent shock waves through the Byron Shire.

Family and friends of Todd Hepner, 25, of Mullumbimby, Jarah Blackett, 22, and Byron Nicholson, 23, both of Ocean Shores, were reeling yesterday as they struggled to come to terms with the tragedy.

The three died when a southbound B-double truck smashed into their Subaru Liberty sedan at 8.15pm as they were attempting to cross on to the Pacific Highway from Woodford Lane, about a kilometre north of the Byron Bay interchange.

Frustrated police at the crash scene were at a loss to explain the carnage.

“It is unbelievable to have accidents like this on a world-class, divided, multilane freeway,” said Acting Inspector Bill Darnell, the Northern Region traffic co-ordinator.

Tweed Byron Acting Superintendent Owen King said yesterday that the tragedy had also taken its toll on police officers who were first on the scene and knew the victims.

He added counselling would be provided.

Supt King said the truck driver was ‘extremely shaken’ and had told them that there was absolutely nothing he could do to avoid the collision.

It is second triple fatality in the Tweed Byron command in as many months and the second involving an L-plate driver.

Police have confirmed the 23-year-old driver was an L-plater who may have failed to heed a ‘Give way’ sign at the intersection.

The force of the impact killed the driver and back seat passenger instantly.

Ambulance duty manager Greg Powell said paramedics rushed to the scene from Mullumbimby, Byron Bay and Ballina.

They took over resuscitation of the front seat passenger who was found unconscious but still breathing by motorists who had stopped to render assistance, though he died shortly after. The truck driver was treated for shock.

You can leave your tributes for Todd, Jarah and Byron below.



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