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Car turned from RBT before crash: police

AAP logoAAP 15/09/2016 Andrew Drummond

Minutes before a fiery single-vehicle crash near Hobart which claimed the lives of a young man and his infant daughter, the car had turned away from a random breath test, police say.

The 19-year-old and two-year-old girl died at the scene of Thursday night's crash near Sorell when their car hit a pole, tore in two and caught fire, in a scene described by one witness as horrific.

The girl's mother was thrown several metres from the vehicle and remains in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Tasmania Police commissioner Darren Hine on Friday said initial investigations suggest his officers acted appropriately by following the car.

"There was random breath testing being conducted. A vehicle did a U-turn and members of the public alerted police to that vehicle ... and police, as part of normal procedure, tried to find that vehicle," he told reporters.

Mr Hine said officers were not chasing the car and were about one kilometre behind when the crash happened.

"We need to know why a vehicle does a u-turn or tries to avoid a random breath test site," he said.

An occupant from a neighbouring house heard screeching tyres and a loud crash.

"We ran outside to see the car in half and on fire around the pole ... it was horrific," he told Sky News.

Sorell School on Friday afternoon updated its Facebook page paying tribute to the young dad and former student Alex Peart-Lawson, and his daughter Ruby.

"Three of (his) younger siblings currently attend Sorell School on our secondary campus," principal Andy Bennett posted.

"I am writing to let you know what has happened at school to support students and staff and to provide information about how you might support your own children."

Mr Hine said it was too early to know if the man had been drinking alcohol or if he was wanted by police.

"It's up to the coroner to determine the facts of the matter."

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