Four people killed in a crash in northern Victoria were on a road trip from NSW to visit loved ones and had just stopped for coffee moments before the collision with a truck.
The two married couples from central NSW aged in their seventies stopped off in the town of Chiltern before heading towards Melbourne when the crash occurred on Thursday.
Their sedan collided with a B-double truck as they attempted to get on the Hume Freeway about 10.30am.
The 30-year-old truck driver involved was not seriously hurt.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir said he was unsure why the car suddenly pulled out in front of the large vehicle.
"Imagine the shock that he's in ... confronted with something beyond his control which resulted in him being involved in such a tragic incident," Mr Weir told reporters.
He said the truck company was co-operating with police, providing footage from within the vehicle and other related data.
The identities of the four killed have not been publicly released as authorities are still notifying family members.
Mr Weir said the group set off on what was meant to be a seven-hour drive early on Thursday and there was no indication anything was wrong with the road.
"It is again another tragic reminder of how what appears to be a moment of inattention can lead to such catastrophic outcomes," he said.
Some 193 people have died on Victorian roads in 2023, up from 157 last year.