The President of the Republic Francois Hollande sent a message on Friday of his condolence to the families of the three policemen.
Around 18:30, "a French policeman's vehicle with three officers inside was hit by a van with three people on board," said the prefecture of Oise to AFP.
According to the firemen, the accident took place on the D2 between Auneuil and Berneuil-en-Bray, south of Beauvais. It would have occurred precisely at the intersection of two departmental roads, CD 2 and CD 35, according to the direction of the Picardie French police force. The circumstances of the accident were unknown.
"The three gendarmes have died," said the prefecture, and this despite "care provided" at the scene of the accident according to the Picardie gendarmerie.
They are three men whose youngest was 18 years old and the oldest 26 years, according to the same source. They belonged to the platoon of surveillance and intervention of the company of Meru, specified the gendarmerie of Picardie, which was not able to specify if the gendarmes went on a mission or returned.
Two of the gendarmes were volunteer assistants and the third a non-commissioned officer. The general manager of the gendarmerie Richard Lizurey was expected on the spot in the evening, according to the gendarmerie of Picardie.
Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux went to the scene of the accident and then to the gendarmerie company of Meru, announced the Place Beauveau in a statement sent on Friday night to the AFP. The minister also "expressed his very strong emotion" at the announcement of the death of the three soldiers in metropolitan France as well as a fourth policeman who died in service in Matoury, Guyana.
According to the prefecture of Oise, the three people of the vehicle collided with that of the gendarmes "are in a state deemed very serious and have been transported to the CHR of Amiens."
Behind the utility, "there was another vehicle that struck the van at the time of the shock but the person is unharmed," added the prefecture.
A source close to the investigation reported earlier in the evening of four people incarcerated in the car that struck the gendarmes.