Rugby: Wife of ex-Warrior Rowan Baxter dies after horrific car fire

  • 20/02/2020

The wife of former NZ Warriors squad member Rowan Baxter has died in hospital, after suffering injuries in a horrific car fire in east Brisbane. 

On Wednesday, Hannah Baxter (formerly Clarke), screaming "he's poured petrol on me",  escaped a burning automobile and was hospitalised in critical condition. 

Rowan Baxter and the three children, all aged under seven, died at the scene and Queensland Police confirmed Hannah Baxter's death on Wednesday evening. 

"The woman succumbed to her injuries at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital early this evening," they said.

"Two girls aged six and four, along with a three-year-old boy, were located deceased inside the vehicle on Raven Street around 8:30am.

"A 42-year-old man was also pronounced deceased and investigations surrounding the events which unfolded at the scene are continuing."

Baxter reportedly had self-inflicted stab wounds and escaped the car, but died on the footpath.

He had occupied the front passenger seat and Ms Baxter was driving the car, police said.

Police are still investigating how the fire started, with Queensland Detective Inspector Mark Thompson saying the incident was "up there" with the worst he's seen. 

"It will be a horrific thing for emergency services, police, fire and ambulance to deal with in the coming days." 

Australian media reports say the couple were undergoing a separation, with Ms Baxter, 31, and the children - Laianah, 6, Aaliyah, 4, and Trey, 3 - staying in Camp Hill, where the tragic incident occurred. 

A Facebook donation page has since been set up by Hannah Baxter's sister-in-law and has nearly raised $10,000 towards funeral costs. 

"All those who knew Hannah or had even just met her once would know how much of a beautiful soul she was, her children were her life," the page reads. "All she ever wanted was happiness.

"Her children were only a reflection of her - gorgeous happy kids who held a massive piece in my heart."

The page says Hannah's parents, Sue and Lloyd, had "exhausted themselves to try and help Hannah escape this monster".

Rowan played one trial match for the Warriors in 2005 against the Parramatta Eels. 

After his playing career, Baxter worked as a fitness coach for NRL, Super Rugby and Australian Football League (AFL) teams around Australia.

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