Three men died and another was injured in a head-on crash Tuesday morning on Highway 8 between Miramichi and Bathurst.

The collision occurred about 15 kilometres north of Miramichi, just before Le Bonne Route Restaurant near Lavillette. RCMP said the crash was reported at 7:45 a.m.

RCMP said the crash occurred when a southbound vehicle crossed the centre line and collided with a vehicle heading north. Police are still investigating the cause of the accident but it was dark and road conditions were slightly wet at the time of the crash.

"We don't know yet and the people who will do the reconstruction from the accident believe that maybe one of the persons might have fallen asleep but we cannot confirm yet," said RCMP Cpl. Denis Laliberte.

All of the victims are from Miramichi. Although their names have not been released, their ages were 33, 37 and 49.

The fourth person involved in the crash was taken to hospital in critical condition. The RCMP said the names of the victims will not be released until their families have been notified.

Andrew Holland, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation, said the RCMP requested the highway be closed while investigators were on the scene. Holland said the highway was re-opened at 1:10 p.m.

No other details were available about the crash.

The latest Environment Canada information said the temperature in Miramichi was 5 C. There were 0.9 millimetres of precipitation recorded in the area on Monday.