Three children and a woman have died in a crash near Oxford in an ‘absolute tragedy’.
The children, aged four, six and eight, and the 29-year-old woman are members of the same family from Chinnor, Oxfordshire.
The collision involved a people carrier and a heavy goods vehicle on the A40 near Oxford last night, Thames Valley Police said.
Two other passengers in the Subaru people carrier, a man, 30, and an 18-month-old girl, are fighting for their lives.
They were taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford after the smash, which took place near a railway overbridge at around 9.50pm.
The 56-year-old man driving the heavy goods vehicle suffered minor injuries in the crash.
Eyewitness David Patchett, who lives nearby, called the emergency services after seeing several people seriously injured.
He told the Oxford Mail: “I was first on scene and I am still shaky now. I need my mind to rest.”
Two girls aged four and eight, a six-year-old boy and a woman, 29, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Senior Investigating Officer Sergeant Dominic Mahon, of Thames Valley Police, said: “We are in the very early stages of our investigation into this incredibly tragic incident that has resulted in the deaths of four people from the same family.
“I would ask the public and media to please not speculate as to the cause of this horrendous incident. We will leave no stone unturned to ascertain what has caused this tragedy.
“This is an absolute tragedy, and again I would ask the public and the media not to speculate as to the cause, as we continue to support the families of all of the victims.”
Police urged anyone who was in the area or has dashcam footage of the incident – or vehicles involved – to get in touch with them.
Sgt Mahon added that the family’s next of kin had been informed and were being supported by Family Liaison Officers.
He added that the force’s thoughts were with the families during ‘this incredibly difficult time’.
“I would like to also pay tribute to our officers, first responders and medical professionals, who dealt with this collision,” Sgt Mahon said.
“Our officers and colleagues from the other emergency services were dealing with an extremely upsetting scene, and I would like to thank them for the work that they carried out overnight.
“Our officers remain at the scene and the A40 will remain closed in both directions for a considerable period of time while this investigation continues.”