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Australia Restaurant owner, 29, and her head chef are among three people killed when their SUV smashes into a tree

22:40  21 january  2020
22:40  21 january  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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A restaurant owner and her head chef have died in an horrific car crash on a country road that also killed a third person.

Jessica Boardman, 29, and James Golding died when their SUV slammed into a tree outside Bellingen, near Coffs Harbour, NSW, about 2.30am on Tuesday.

A third passenger also died at the scene of the crash on Gleniffer Road, but their identity is not yet known.

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Ms Boardman opened Smoke and Barrels restaurant on Bellingen's main street in May last year after running a catering business in the area since 2017.

Her longtime friend Mr Golding moved to town about two years ago to work at her previous venture, the Diggers Tavern Bistro.

The pair is yet to be formally identified by police, but local residents confirmed their deaths to Daily Mail Australia, and paid tribute to them.

'They were lovely people who were trying to do good things for the town,' said Eli, who works at the Purple Carrot cafe next door.

A man at another shop nearby said they were 'hard workers who did well to make a successful business up this end of town'.

Ms Boardman only married her husband Tom Sheridan in September 2018.

The pair's deaths are a double blow for the small town after former residents Rick Elzer and Karla Mathews were killed in the New Zealand volcano disaster.

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The couple were travelling with their friend Jason Griffiths and took a trip to White Island on December 9 when it erupted.

All three died and Mr Elzer and Ms Mathews were mourned on December 22 at the Bellingen Memorial Hall - next door to the Diggers Tavern.

Chief Inspector Brendan Gorman said the road was dry at the time of Tuesday's crash and all possible causes were being investigated.

'There were 21 death across the Coffs-Clarence district last year, police are really making a lot of effort in regard to reducing the road toll,' he said.

'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 known the road that the conditions or something's not going to change.'

Residents along the road said they heard a car driving quickly before a thud around the time of the accident.


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