A woman and her two young daughters have died in a "tragic" car accident.
The three dead were travelling in a Citroen Saxo
The 45-year-old woman and daughters, aged seven and 10, from the Mearns area, were in a Citroen Saxo which was involved in a collision with a car.
The crash took place on the A92 Inverbervie to Low North Water Bridge road on Wednesday morning.
A Grampian Police spokesman said: "This is a great tragedy for the families involved and our thoughts are very much with them."
The road was expected to be closed for a considerable time.
Diversions have been set up and drivers are asked to avoid the area.
Police, fire and ambulance crews were called to the scene.
Two occupants of the other vehicle, a Citroen Berlingo, were injured and have been taken to hospital for treatment.
Ch Insp Tom Forrester, of Grampian Police, said: "Today we have had the first fatal road traffic collision of 2008 in Grampian, and it is particularly distressing that it involves three people, a female driver and two children.
"The year could not have got off to a worse start on our roads and I would urge drivers, especially in the wintry conditions we may well face over the next couple of months, to be extra careful when they are behind the wheel."
He added: "A road collision investigation team will be at the scene of this collision for the next few hours in order to establish the circumstances of the collision.
"It is not possible at this stage to say if the weather or road conditions were a factor. The road will remain closed until they have completed their investigation."
Grampian Fire and Rescue service station manager Mike Dickson said: "Grampian Fire and Rescue Service would like echo the comments of Grampian Police and send our condolences to the families affected by the accident.
"This is a tragedy for all involved, and is a poignant reminder to the public about the need to take care on North East roads."
The names of the victims will not be issued until next of kin have been informed and formal identification has taken place.
A second collision nearby about the same time, involving three cars, is not being treated as serious.