A senior Townsville police officer described the fatal truck crash which killed Steve Bowen on the Bruce Highway as one of the worst he had seen in his 34 years of service.

Townsville Police district duty officer Senior Sergeant Scot Warrick said a semi-trailer was travelling northbound at 10.10pm on the Bruce Highway near Stuart on Tuesday when it lost control, about 400m north of the Townsville Crematorium.

Fatal truck crash on the Bruce Highway at Stuart, November 24, 2020.
Fatal truck crash on the Bruce Highway at Stuart, November 24, 2020.

"It was carrying a load which was a concrete and steel pumping device, so very large (and) a very heavy device that was on the back of that vehicle," he said.

"At that point, in an attempt to regain control that vehicle appears to have crossed over the incorrect side of the road.

"At that time a B-double was heading south and it has collided with the trailer. Unfortunately it's caused the pumping device to come loose and that has impacted the cabin of the B-double."

Senior Sergeant Warrick offered his condolences to Steve's family.

Vision released by police showed the horrifying extent of the crash, with debris tossed metres off the side of the highway while fruit destined for supermarkets from the B-double was strewn across the road.

He said the crash caused extensive damage to the highway which had led to major traffic delays. The highway was eventually opened yesterday afternoon after crews repaired and cleared the stretch of highway.

Fatal truck crash on the Bruce Highway at Stuart, November 24, 2020.
Fatal truck crash on the Bruce Highway at Stuart, November 24, 2020.

"I've been at the scene (yesterday) morning and (after) 34 years of police work, I can tell you that is one of the most confronting scenes I've ever witnessed," he said.

"There's debris spread probably over 80 meters off the highway and debris thrown off to the side of the highway as well as I said it was a catastrophic and confronting."

Senior Sergeant Warrick said Tuesday's crash was the 19th fatal in the Townsville district and the 11th involving heavy vehicles.

"We need everyone to take as much care as they possibly can, don't drive fatigued and drive to the road conditions," he said.

The driver of the semi-trailer was taken to Townsville University Hospital with non-life threatening head and abdominal injures.

Originally published as 'Confronting': Photos from harrowing fatal crash site


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