A HOLIDAY was tragically cut short in a Bass Highway crash that killed an American tourist and left two people from St Helens in hospital yesterday.
The 68-year-old New York woman was a passenger in the Hyundai SUV when it was hit by a cattle truck at Travellers Rest just before 9am.
The woman had arrived in the state on January 17 and was to depart in a few days.
Crash investigator Constable Nigel Housego said it appeared the car, driven by a 71-year-old St Helens woman, had attempted to turn into a U-turn bay from the left-hand lane and had driven in front of the fully laden cattle truck.
The truck hit the rear right-hand corner of the SUV, which came to rest in the median strip.
The American passenger died in hospital.
A spokeswoman for the Launceston General Hospital said the driver was in a serious condition and the back-seat passenger, a 70-year-old St Helens man, was in a critical condition.
The fatality is the first on Tasmanian roads this year.
Constable Housego said the crash was still being investigated, but it appeared that the SUV had driven across the truck's path.
``It's very sad that that's happened,'' he said.
``It looks like they were on holiday.''
The truck driver, a 69-year- old Blackstone Heights man, was not seriously injured and the truck was only superficially damaged.
Police were not aware of any stock injuries and a second truck was called to take the cattle away.
``We have had such a lot of truck crashes,'' Constable Housego said.
``And it's horrible. It's not the truck drivers' fault.''
The highway was closed for five hours while the crash investigation took place.
Any witnesses are asked to call 6336 3936.