British father and his two children killed in car crash in France after he 'fell asleep at wheel'

A British father who died alongside his two young children in a car crash in France - after he allegedly fell asleep - at the wheel has been named locally as John Crompton.

The 31-year-old was driving on the A39 near Dijon when the family's Nissan smashed through the safety barrier and struck a concrete pillar on the motorway.

His nine-year-old son and four-year-old daughter died almost instantly after being thrown from the vehicle, according to local media.

Mr Crompton suffered a heart attack and died moments after he was released from the wreckage.

His partner and a third child, thought to be aged two, were critically injured and airlifted to hospital where their condition is unclear.

French police said Mr Crompton, from Hartlepool, either fell asleep at the wheel or was distracted by something, causing him to lose control of the vehicle at around 7am on Sunday.

Pictures showed the wreckage of the car which was ripped apart after initially hitting a safety barrier.

Police at the scene of the tragedy on Sunday.
A child's car seat is seen on the motorway.
The surviving family members were airlifted to hospital.

Tributes have started pouring in for the family.

On Sunday, Colin Harrison posted on a Facebook group called Hartlepool Billiards and Snooker, of which Mr Crompton is a member, saying he was "one of the league's top players".

"Heartbreaking news about one of the league's top players," he said.

"John Crompton and two of his children were tragically killed in a road accident in France earlier today.

"Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Very talented and well liked man. RIP mate".

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are providing assistance following a road traffic accident in France, in which three British nationals have sadly died and two others have been hospitalised.

"We are working closely with local authorities and supporting the families at this difficult time."