Bega car crash kills mother Jacqui Britton, children found in back seat

A MOTHER has died while her two children spent nine hours trapped in a crashed car at Bega on Monday.

Jacqui Britton from Tathra and her two daughters were found in a car about nine hours after it was believed to have crashed into a tree and rolled down an embankment.

At a press conference in Nowra, Far South Coast Local Area Commander detective superintendent Peter O’Brien gave a statement regarding the fatality.

He said it appeared Ms Britton, 33, had been driving home from the Bega Swimming Pool when she lost control of her car on a bend near Kerrisons Lane on Tathra Road.

The woman’s daughters, a two-year old girl and a three-month old girl were found still strapped in their car seats in a satisfactory condition, but dehydrated.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this stage, however detectives said it had been raining in Bega throughout the day. 

“On the corner where the accident took place we believe the driver may have over-corrected or been distracted in some way that caused the car to leave the road and collide heavily with a tree. As a result she sustained fatal injuries,” Det Supt O’Brien said.

“The car then rolled down an embankment and as a result it was difficult to see from the road.

“If you weren’t looking for the particular vehicle you wouldn’t find it,” he said.

Police were first alerted about 6pm when Ms Britton’s husband contacted Bega Police station with concerns for his wife and two children who had not returned home.

"He'd been contacting her throughout the day, then when he hadn't heard from her at all and she wasn't at home, he attended the police station," Detective O'Brien said.

A search was started and about an hour later the car was found.

The three-month-old was taken to Sydney for further tests while the two-year-old is with her father.

Mr O’Brien said at this stage police believed the accident occurred between 10.30am and 11am Monday.

“Crime scene police and detectives are continuing with inquiries. There is no suggestion another vehicle is involved,” Det Supt O’Brien said. 

“It appears to be a tragic accident where the car has left the road for reasons unknown at this stage and collided with a tree."

A local resident, who asked not to be named, said that stretch of road could become quite slippery particularly after a long period of dry weather.

"That stretch of road, that corner, when it gets wet you almost expect cars to go off. You do hear it quite often, you hear tyres squealing," he said.

He said Tathra Road was a busy road, with a speed limit of 100kmh, and is often used by trucks.

"There's more and more traffic there and since people have gone with their sea change, or their tree change, there's more and more." 

Police continue to investigate the cause of the Bega crash, and a report is being prepared for the coroner.

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