Crash driver mystery
THE parents of an Orion teenager seriously injured in a single vehicle rollover near Springsure on Saturday morning are maintaining a bedside vigil at a Brisbane hospital.
The 17-year-old female, who sustained spinal and internal injuries when she was thrown from the silver Toyota Prado by the force of the crash, was found on Arcturus Road by deep core drilling company employees who alerted emergency services shortly after 11.20am.
The other occupant, a 16-year-old Emerald female taken to Rockhampton Hospital for treatment, was unlicensed.
Police were yesterday working to establish the identity of the driver and are yet to speak with both females.
“Yes, this has sent shockwaves through the community with two young local people involved,” Springsure’s Sergeant Bill Boon said.
“The lesson is young people are not infallible, it could very easily happen to anyone.”
The pair was returning to the Three Chain Road property of the 17-year-old’s parents when the crash happened.
“The vehicle was negotiating a sweeping right-hand corner and drifted on to the left shoulder. The driver has over-corrected coming back on to the road and has overturned several times,” Sgt Boon said.
Emerald officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Graeme Reeves said the Prado was travelling at an unknown speed, and it was believed the more seriously injured girl was not wearing a seatbelt.
“Police urge motorists to keep their seatbelt on, especially in country areas,” he said.
“There have been a number of rollovers where drivers have not been wearing seatbelts.
“Seatbelts have been proven to save lives time and time again.”
The matter remains under investigation. It was the second dangerous crash in the Central Highlands.
A truck driver who survived when his rig plunged 13.5 metres off the Carnarvon Hwy south of Rolleston into a culvert told police he was trying to avoid a pack of brumbies.
The Roma man suffered serious head and chest injuries and remains in intensive care at a Brisbane hospital.
Rolleston’s Senior Constable Andrew Donohue said the 36-year-old’s B-double truck came to grief last Wednesday afternoon on a notorious, unfenced stretch of road that had claimed six or more heavy vehicles in the last five years.
“He has been coming down the northern side of the Carnarvon Ranges and come around a right-hand bend and spotted a number of horses on the road,” Snr Const Donohue said. “He has swerved to the right and travelled straight off the road into the culvert.”
The force of the impact with the culvert saw the Western Star prime mover carrying a load of general freight and paint contort 180 degrees, leaving the back trailer visible from the road at the crash site, 93km south of Rolleston.
Flung around inside the cabin, the man’s injuries occurred when his head hit the windscreen and his body was thrown into the passenger side door.
Snr Const Donohue urged drivers to treat the section of highway with extreme caution.
“It is imperative to look out for wildlife and stock on the road,” he said.
“I have had reports of up to 12 cattle being hit by vehicles in the last two months in that one area from the Carnarvon Hwy through to the range, through to the intersection of Mulcahy’s Rd, as it is all unfenced and there is often stock wandering on the road.
“Over the last five years there have probably been six or seven trucks go over in that stretch.
“Most of the time it has been trucks hitting beasts, but there is the potential there… I had one group of tourists who had a kangaroo come through the windscreen and join them in the car and they ended up hitting a tree in the Carnarvon Range.
Snr Const Donohue said fatigue was ruled out in the latest incident.
Blackwater crash investigators have prepared a report.