A devastating crime was committed by former National Rugby League player Rowan Baxter. The fitness coach took his own life after intentionally setting a car with his trapped wife and children on fire. The mother of three managed to get out of the burning vehicle but later succumbed to her injuries. The children were burnt alive on the spot. Rowan was also found dead after the incident.

Hannah Baxter was driving with her three children, six-year-old Laianah, four-year-old Aaliyah, and three-year-old Trey in the Camp Hill area of Brisbane. The 31-year-old fitness instructor had separated from the 42-year-old former New Zealand Warriors player last year. Since their split, the estranged couple had been trying to negotiate the custody of their children.

Rowan decided to end it all for the entire family by attacking them on Wednesday morning. It is believed that Rowan had filled a jerry can with petrol before the incident. Locals who witnessed the incident reported loud blasts while the car was on fire.

A witness reported that Hannah managed to jump out of the vehicle screaming that Rowan had poured petrol on her. The witness recalled how horribly Hannah was burnt to the point where her skin was peeling off. Hannah received emergency medical assistance at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries hours after the incident.

Nine News reported that Rowan was found dead near the car with stab wounds. According to the BBC, Rowan had been in the front passenger seat of the car while Hannah was driving. A witness claimed that Rowan prevented anyone from rescuing the children. One brave passer-by sustained facial burns while trying to rescue the family.

Queensland police are investigating the incident. They have not confirmed the cause of the fire or the details of the deaths. Even though many witnesses have shared their narratives, an official announcement from the police is being awaited.

Dakar Rally 2018
car on fire Franck Fife/AFP