• 3 killed in early-morning crash between van and car
  • They were driving to work at Malton bacon factory
  • 3 others taken to hospital
  • Road was closed for 11 hours
  • Police urge vital potential witnesses to come forward
  • "It's a terrible tragedy," says parish councillor

THREE people have died in a devastating crash which closed a North Yorkshire road.

The two men and a woman were pronounced dead at the scene after their car crashed head on into a van on the brow of a hill on the B1248 between Wetwang and Norton, in the Wharram area.

They were in a car of five people from the East Yorkshire area heading to work at Malton bacon factory.

The other two people in the Ford Focus, both in their 30s, were taken to Hull Royal Infirmary with serious injuries.

A 48-year-old driver of the Citroen van was taken to York District Hospital with serious injuries.

Fires were extinguished in the van and the car after the crash at about 6am this morning.

The road remained closed for nearly 11 hours while collision investigators examined the scene and recovery of casualties and the vehicles was carried out.

Charles Pascall, HR director of Karro Food Group which runs the bacon factory, said: “We are extremely saddened to hear about the road accident this morning, in which three of our colleagues were fatally injured.

"Our thoughts go out to their families at this distressing time and we are offering support to those families and to the colleagues of those who died. We are assisting the police in any way possible with their inquiries into the cause of the incident.”

Officers are in the process of notifying next of kin of those who died.

Traffic constable Reece Williams, from North Yorkshire Police, said: "The scene is quite a difficult one to be present at.

"There has been a small fire at the scene involving the vehicles and officers are dealing with it as sensitively as they can given the circumstances."

Humberside Fire Service confirmed fires were extinguished in both the van and the car. A spokesman said: "It has been a sad day for all concerned."

Ryedale Parish councillor for the Wharram area, Edward Legard said: "It's a terrible tragedy, in particular for their families and friends. My thoughts are with them at the moment and we will await the outcome of any accident investigation.

Chairman of Wharram-le Street parish council Roger Kay said the speed of traffic travelling through the village had been a concern for some time.

"We have asked North Yorkshire County Council for 30mph through the village as opposed to 40mph.

"Sometimes cars are travelling through three abreast, I amazed something like this hasn't happened before.

"Unfortunately it takes a serious accident like this to make people realise what is going on and I will be taking the issue of speed calming measures up with the county council again."

Police are appealing for anyone who was travelling along the B1248 between Wetwang and Malton at around 6am and saw either of the vehicles prior to the collision or witnessed the actual crash, to come forward.

Anyone with any information is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101 and pass information to the Force Control Room. Please quote reference number 0052 of 27 November.