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A small Newfoundland community is processing the shock of a fatal crash Sunday afternoon that claimed the lives of a grandfather, his two teenage granddaughters and another man who lived nearby.

RCMP say the deadly crash happened at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Route 380 near Robert’s Arm in northeastern Newfoundland, when an SUV and a smaller car collided head-on.

Jason Roberts, mayor of Triton, N.L., says a 67-year-old local man, known around town as quiet and generous, had been driving his granddaughters, aged 14 and 16, home to Middle Arm after a weekend visit.

The girls’ grandmother, 61, was also in the vehicle, and has been airlifted to hospital in St. John’s to be treated for serious injuries.

Police say the driver of the SUV, a 63-year-old man, was also killed.

Roberts, whose town’s population numbers roughly 1,000, says the four sudden deaths have left neighbours and friends reeling.

“I think it’s got everyone shocked, almost beyond belief,” Roberts said in a phone interview.

“Everyone in town knows them. It’s a loss.”

Roberts, who declined to name the victims out of respect for grieving family members, said he also knew the SUV driver, who was from the nearby town of Little Bay Islands.

He said the man was involved in community efforts to resettle Little Bay Islands, which will see government services shut off at the end of December.

Roberts had been in touch with him recently, discussing resettlement logistics, and said the two had planned to meet on Monday.

Roberts said he’s spoken to some family members as they come to grips with the loss. He said the community plans to focus on providing whatever supports are needed in the next few days.

“That’s how our community survives. Everyone’s there for everybody, we all help and try to assist in the times you really need it,” he said.

Police say weather conditions were favourable at the time of the crash. An investigation into the cause is ongoing.

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