Australia

Family of mum killed in Brisbane car fire with three kids tried to help her escape 'disgusting' husband

Hannah Baxter is being remembered as a "beautiful soul". Source: Facebook

The family of a 31-year-old mother and her three kids killed in an alleged domestic violence case are being remembered as "beautiful souls".

The family of a mother and her three children killed after being set alight in Brisbane say they tried to help her "escape" from her estranged husband, who is alleged to be responsible for their deaths.

Hannah Baxter, 31, died at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital overnight after being doused in petrol by her estranged husband and the children's father, Rowan Baxter, 42.

The children - Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4 and Trey, 3 - died in the family car after it burst into flames on a quiet suburban street in Camp Hill in Brisbane's east on Wednesday morning.

Ms Baxter and her children are being remembered as “beautiful souls” who were taken by “a heartless monster” in “the worst way possible”.

On Wednesday, Ms Baxter’s family set up a fundraising page for funeral costs and to support her parents, Sue and Lloyd Clarke who, they said, had “exhausted themselves to try and help Hannah escape this monster”.

The three Baxter children.
The three Baxter children died in the fatal car fire.
Facebook

The fundraiser, started by Ms Baxter’s sister-in-law Stacey Roberts, had already raised $55,822 by late Thursday morning.

“For all those who knew Hannah, or had even just met her once, would know how much of a beautiful soul she was,” Ms Roberts said.

“Her children were her life. All she ever wanted was happiness.”

In a separate Facebook post, Ms Baxter’s brother, Nat Clarke paid tribute to his sister, nieces and nephew.

"R.i.p you beautiful souls," Mr Clarke wrote.

"I had my sister nephew and 2 nieces taken from me in the worst way possible.

“Everyone who has been lucky enough to be a part of (their) lives would know just how sweet and loving these kids and my sister really were.

“The last thing my sister said to my wife was I’m so excited this year will be great. I’m so [grateful] she and I got to reconnect and become such close friends before this tragedy I will forever love you all.

“I’m now trying to help raise awareness about #violenceagainstwomen as monsters like this get away with this [too] often.”

Hannah Baxter, pictured with son Trey
Hannah Baxter, pictured with son Trey
Facebook

Police have yet to confirm the circumstances of the deaths. 

"How the fire actually occurred has not been ascertained at the moment, so for us to call it a murder-suicide or a tragic accident, it's inappropriate at this stage," Detective Inspector Mark Thompson said on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, #HannahBaxter was trending on Twitter, with hundreds of other people from around Australia paying tribute to her and her kids.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the whole country was shocked at the family being "senselessly murdered".

"Australians all over the country are just shocked, saddened and devastated about what has happened," Mr Morrison told media on Thursday.

"Hannah and her three children so senselessly and maddeningly murdered in what has occurred in a terrible act of violence and it just grieves our hearts terribly today."

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline crisis support on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25). More information is available at Beyond Blue.org.au and lifeline.org.au.

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