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She Fell Out of Burning Car: 'He's Poured Petrol on Me!'

Ex-rugby player, wife, their 3 young children die after car fire in Brisbane, Australia
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2020 8:46 AM CST

(Newser) – A former rugby player for the New Zealand Warriors, his wife, and their three young children have died after a car fire, and Australian police say they're now treating the site of the deadly blaze as a crime scene. Per the Australian, via the New York Times, witnesses who spotted a white car engulfed in flames rolling down down a street in the Camp Hill suburb of Brisbane Wednesday morning put wood in the vehicle's path to stop it, then watched in horror as a woman fell out of the car. One witness says that woman, since identified as 31-year-old Hannah Baxter, yelled, "He's poured petrol on me!" The BBC notes that when police finally arrived on the scene, her three children, ages 6, 4, and 3, were found dead inside the car. Per ABC Australia, cops say the woman's husband, 42-year-old Rowan Baxter, was found dead outside the car with self-inflicted stab wounds.

Hannah Baxter was taken to a hospital, where she later died from her burn injuries. A bystander who'd tried to help the family was also treated by paramedics and hospitalized for burns on his face. Fox Sports, which says Rowan and Hannah Baxter were estranged, cites a witness who talked to the Courier Mail, claiming that Rowan Baxter got into the car Hannah Baxter was driving while doing a school run, set it on fire, then stabbed himself to death. CNN cites local media that reports Rowan Baxter doused the car in fuel he'd gotten from a local gas station. Authorities, however, are still staying tight-lipped on exactly what happened. "For us to call it a murder-suicide or an accident is not appropriate at the moment," Detective Inspector Mark Thompson of the Queensland Police Service told reporters, per the Times, adding it wasn't clear if an accelerant had been used in the car fire. (Read more Australia stories.)

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