Crews clean up the wreckage.
Crews clean up the wreckage. Peter Holt

Truckie died on nation’s ‘worst road’

THE close-knit family-employers of a truckie killed in an inferno on the Peak Downs Hwy have angrily labelled the stretch as the "worst road in Australia".

In a black day for the Emerald Carrying Company, the death of driver Peter Carr on Sunday was the first in its 50-year history on the Central Highlands.

"You don't ever wish this on anyone in business - it is the most horrific thing to happen to Emerald Carrying Company and for us personally, we just can't find the words to say," an emotional ECC part-owner Peter Haylock said.

"That is a terrible bloody road from Mackay to Moranbah.

"It's the worst road in Australia.

"We have had more accidents on that road than any other road in the country we travel on.

"The road has been like that ever since the mines opened around Moranbah - just bumper-to-bumper traffic."

Mr Carr, 36, was on his first shift back after a five-day break when his diesel-laden tanker was involved in a three-vehicle crash on the highway at Stockyard Creek on Saturday night.

He died at the scene, leaving a partner and five-year-old son.

An RACQ CQ rescue spokesperson said crew members described the scene as a "massive fireball with lights and sirens everywhere".

Just days before the incident, Mr Carr was celebrating being cleared of manslaughter charges when he worked as a bouncer in Mackay.

Mr Haylock said the tragedy had rocked everyone at ECC.

"This is just devastating," he said.

"Peter is the first person in ECC's 50-year history that we've lost and it has taken its toll on everyone.

"He was just a good bloke, a good fella that everyone got on with.

"It was his first shift after five days off, so it wasn't as if he was fatigued.

"I've got a little granddaughter the same age, and I couldn't imagine her without her father."

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Representatives from ECC will travel to Mackay to attend Mr Carr's funeral this week.

Mr Haylock said the company, which has 300 staff, had fielded calls at its Gracemere depot from employees wanting to donate to a fund for Mr Carr's family.

"We have also had cards from the Emerald ECC family and that is what it is like," he said. "We're a family and you never want to lose any of your family."

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