By DAWN COHEN
A GRAFTON toddler was killed at St Helena, near Byron Bay, yesterday when her mother's vehicle went out of control on a notorious bend on the Pacific Highway.
The 30-year-old Grafton woman was travelling north at about 10am when her Toyota Landcruiser skidded onto the wrong side of the road at the bottom of the St Helena hill.
Her Landcruiser hit a south-bound Ford Falcon, rolling several times before coming to rest over an embankment.
The woman's two-year-old daughter was killed on impact. The mother remained trapped in the vehicle until released by Byron Bay and Newrybar Rural Fire Service crew.
The toddler's grandparents have requested the names not be released until they had notified family and friends.
The mother was flown to Lismore Base Hospital by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter with serious neck and shoulder injuries, where she was last night said to be in a stable condition.
Two men, aged 37 and 67, and a woman, 64, who were in the Falcon, were taken to Tweed Hospital with injuries ranging from seatbelt lacerations to serious abdominal injuries.
The people in the Falcon were believed to have been on holidays from Booval in Queensland.
An RTA spokeswoman said the accident was the second in that spot yesterday morning.
Only three hours before the tragedy, another north-bound vehicle had spun out of control in the same location, knocking down a $500,000 wire rope safety barrier erected between the lanes last year.
RTA workers were on the way to repair the barrier when the fatal accident happened, she said.
The speed limit on the hill had been temporarily reduced to 60km/h until the wire fence could be repaired.
Five ambulances, including units from Byron Bay and Ballina, attended the scene.