The 48-year-old man poured petrol over the car and set it alight, restraining his daughter in the back seat, Rai News reported on Monday.
The girl’s 44-year-old mother sustained second- and third-degree burns in trying to save her daughter from the flames. The man and girl died in the car in Pescara, central Italy, while the woman was transferred to a Rome hospital where she is being treated.
The couple had until last year been living together with the five-year-old and the woman’s three daughters from a previous marriage, Rai News said.
They had separated when the mother-of-four reported her partner for abuse, telling authorities that he was violent and trying to prevent their daughter having a relationship with her three half-sisters.
The man was found guilty of abuse in October, when a court ruled he could only see his daughter once a week in the presence of a social worker.
In violation of the court, the couple met with their daughter and were thought to be en route to visit a relative of the woman when the man decided to set the car on fire.