Police worked tirelessly to retrieve the bodies of a mother and her two children from their vehicle after it crashed into the Tweed River.
Police worked tirelessly to retrieve the bodies of a mother and her two children from their vehicle after it crashed into the Tweed River. SCOTT POWICK

DROWNING INQUEST: Witness saw car plunge into flooded river

A WITNESS who saw a van carrying a mother and her three children plunge into the Tweed River days after ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie flooding disaster in 2017 has told a court she believed the road was open.

The testimony came during an inquest which is examing whether Dulguigan Rd in North Tumbulgum was open or closed the day Stephanie King, 43, and her two children, Ella-Jane, 11, and Jacob, seven, drowned when their car left the road.

Ms King's second daughter Chloe-May was also in the car at the time of the accident but escaped the sinking vehicle and ran for help.

Tweed Heads resident Suzette Wheatley was parked along Riverside Dr, Tumbulgum, when she saw the white van go into the river directly opposite from where she was sitting in her car.

Tweed Water Police launch arrives to assist with white Hyuandai Van which is to be lifted from the Tweed River at Tumbulgum after a 3 person fatal car accident on Monday the 3rd April 2017.Photo: Scott Powick Daily News
A white Hyuandai Van which is lifted from the Tweed River at Tumbulgum after a three person fatal car accident on Monday April 3, 2017. SCOTT POWICK

For full coverage of the inquest visit The Northern Star.