The clergy who died, two men and a woman, served adjacent parishes in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear. Their Rover 414 car was crushed between two heavy goods lorries, a van and another car on the A1 Felton bypass in Northumberland, about 25 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne.
The three priests were returning from a walking trip in Northumberland when the accident happened on Thursday afternoon at a set of traffic lights where work is being carried out to try to make the road safer.
Yesterday, as news emerged of the triple fatality, another multiple pile- up at the same spot left three people in hospital with serious injuries.
The three priests were the Rev William Taylor, 39, of Heworth Vicarage, the Rev Michael Hough, 50, of Shotley Gardens, Low Fell, and the Rev Catherine Hooper, 40, of Windy Nook, all in Gateshead. Mr Taylor's Labrador escaped and is being cared for by vets.
Mr Hooper, originally from Dorset, was in the first group of women to be ordained as priests in the Church of England in 1994.