Crash claims life of father

Tom Vanderkroft, 34, was killed when his Holden Commodore crashed into a tree.
Tom Vanderkroft, 34, was killed when his Holden Commodore crashed into a tree. Contributed

FATHER-OF-THREE Tom Vanderkroft had just decided to make Toowoomba his new home before he was killed when his car slammed into a tree at Middle Ridge.

Mr Vanderkroft, 34, was holidaying with friends in Middle Ridge and they were enjoying a few drinks on Monday night.

Mr Vanderkroft and passenger Paul Kussrow, 38, had bought alcohol from a hotel and were returning to Mr Kussrow's home when the crash happened.

His 1992 Holden Commodore was travelling east on Stenner St and turning right into Mackenzie St when the car clipped the roundabout at speed at 9.50pm.

The car crashed into a tree and Mr Vanderkroft sustained fatal injuries as he was not wearing a seatbelt.

Mr Kussrow climbed out the back of the mangled car and sustained only minor injuries.

Mr Kussrow's wife Marie, 38, said she was distraught to lose a friend she had known since childhood.

Mr Vanderkroft lived in Brisbane and had three children, Kaleb, 15, Tomika, 13, Kiara, 10

Sister Shantele Vanderkroft, 26, said her brother was her best friend.

She described her older brother as a loving family man and a mad Holden enthusiast.

"He always had time for close friends and family and loved his kids to death," Miss Vanderkroft said.

"He was absolutely a Holden boy and poor mum's backyard is full of cars - Tom's projects he hadn't yet finished.

Mr Vanderkroft lived with his sister for the past 18 months after he separated from his wife Alicia Severn.

"Growing up we used to fight like cats and dogs but now we relied on each other and I would always help him out when he was down," Miss Vanderkroft said.

"Every time he was sad I was the only one who could put a smile on his face and make him laugh again.

"Tom and I were extremely close. We were more like best friends than brother and sister.

"He was just one in a million and you couldn't find anyone nicer, more charming or more lovable than Tom.

"I have three children myself and it's been really hard to tell them today that he's not coming home from his holiday.

"He left Brisbane two weeks ago for a holiday in Toowoomba to see if he liked it enough to move there for a fresh start.

"He called me three days ago to say he decided that was where he was going to live."

Police believe speed was a contributing factor to the crash.

Officers are investigating whether alcohol was involved.

Topics:  accident fatal crash

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