Death plunge 

A TOURIST has died in tragic circumstances after the car she was a passenger in plunged down an embankment, resting upside down on a tree above the Leven River.

It is the state's first road fatality this festive season.

The driver, a 20-year-old male German tourist, escaped before the Mitsubishi Delicia four-wheel-drive van, with the 18-year-old German woman inside, rolled 25 metres off the edge of Loongana Road near the Leven Canyon Regional Reserve at Loongana at 4.26pm.

The driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to the North-West Regional Hospital.

Police said it appeared the driver had lost control of the vehicle and crossed to the wrong side of the road.

The area in which the crash occurred is quite remote and the road is made of compact gravel with loose edges.

Crash investigators, Search and Rescue personnel, Forensic Services and Central Coast SES attended the scene.

Inspector Kim Steven said it had been a difficult operation for police and the State Emergency Service to retrieve the woman's body.

"It's the last thing we want when people are on holidays," Inspector Steven said.

A coronial inquest has opened into the matter. Crash investigators would like anyone who saw the vehicle in the area before the crash to contact the Burnie police station.

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