A girl has been airlifted to hospital in a critical condition in the wake of a car crash that claimed the lives of a woman and child at Berry.
The girl, believed aged in her early teens, was travelling in the front seat of a sedan that collided with a semitrailer near Tindalls Lane, about a kilometre north of the township, about 11.45am Tuesday.
The car, a maroon Holden Astra bearing Queensland number plates, was near-flattened in the collision.
The car’s female driver and a child travelling in the backseat were killed instantly.
The girl was semi-conscious and trapped by the wreckage when emergency services reached her.
She was airlifted to Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick suffering a head injury and multiple fractures.
The crash caused the closure of the highway in both directions for more than four hours.
Nowra police Inspector Deborah O'Reilly confirmed the car was travelling south when it collided with the northbound truck.
The truck driver was uninjured and was taken to hospital for mandatory tests.
Wollongong’s Crash Investigation Unit was working to determine was caused the crash, Insp O’Reilly said.
“It appears that the truck may have run over the sedan … certainly the sedan has sustained a great degree of damage,” Insp O’Reilly said.
“We haven’t identified anyone [travelling in the car], we’re trying to do that at the moment, we're trying to contact families. We really don't know what's happened; it's too early at this stage.
“Tonight, unfortunately, police are knocking on someone's door and they’re going to tell them members of their family are deceased, and that’s a terrible thing."
The crash occurred on winding, rising roadway with no median barrier, on a recently upgraded section of the highway.
Additional lanes are to be built as part of a later stage of the upgrade.