Mum, restaurateur and chef killed in shocking road crash
A young mother, a restaurateur and a chef were all killed in a horrific crash in the state's north.
Bobbi Howell, Jessica Boardman and James Golding were in an SUV which slammed into a large tree on Gleniffer Rd, Bellingen, just before 2.30am Tuesday.
The three young friends died at the scene, leaving the town of just over 3000 people "absolutely devastated".
Ms Howell was a Bellingen local who only gave birth to a daughter early last year.
Ms Boardman had opened a new eatery Smoke and Barrels on Bellingen's main drag in 2019, where Mr Golding worked as a chef. Its website advertised that "Jessica Boardman and James Golding team up to launch an exclusive modern Australian style restaurant".
Ms Boardman also ran a catering business.
"This is going to absolutely devastate this community," one local woman said.
Police said three dogs were in the car at the time and died at the scene as well.
Coffs-Clarence Chief Inspector Brendan Gorman said alcohol, drugs, fatigue and mobile phones would all be examined as possible causes of the crash.
"The road was dry at the time, there was some rain last night but it appears to have been dry at the time," Chief Insp Gorman said.
"There were 21 deaths across the Coffs-Clarence district last year, police are really making a lot of effort in regard to reducing the road toll.
"A lot of locals died last year. Seventeen of our fatals in the Coffs-Clarence police district were local residents.
"Don't think just because you know the road that the conditions or something's not going to change."