Rowan Baxter, a former member of Auckland’s New Zealand Warriors Squad in Australia’s National Rugby League, allegedly filled a can with fuel at a local service station before dousing his car and setting it alight, killing his wife,Hannah Baxter and their children,Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three.
According to ABC News Australia, 42-year-old Baxter had self-inflicted stab wounds and got himself out of the car, but died at the scene. Hannah on the other hand was rushed to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Police investigations reveal that she was driving the car and Rowan was in the front passenger seat prior to the incident.
ABC Australia reports Ms. Baxter had jumped from the vehicle at the time and yelled “he’s poured petrol on me.” She managed to crawl out the car and rolled onto the footpath ‘in flames’, when a neighbor rushed to her aid and hosed her down.
The couple were in a custody battle and friends of Baxter were worried about his mental health. In the run up to the tragedy, Baxter had flooded Facebook with pictures of his children including one post which said: ‘Goodnight my babies, Daddy loves you’. Together,they ran a fitness company,Integr8, based in Brisbane, but had to shut it down after their split.
Following his playing career, Baxter worked as a fitness coach for NRL, Super Rugby and Australian Football League (AFL) teams around Australia