Extra traffic increases crash risks
CENTRAL Queensland police and emergency services have issued a timely road safety message after a 74-year-old Victorian man cheated death on Monday when his four-wheel drive, towing a caravan, collided with a road train on the Gregory Hwy near Theresa Creek, just minutes north of Emerald.
As traffic increased on Central Queensland roads for the looming tourist season and school holidays, Queensland Police Regional Traffic Inspector Virginia Nelson urged motorists to be “vigilant” on the roads.
Police, ambulance officers and firefighters attended the horrific-looking scene about 3.30pm on Monday, where the driver of the four-wheel drive miraculously escaped with only minor injuries.
He was treated by ambulance officers and taken to Emerald Base Hospital for observation.
The crash occurred hours before a horrifying rollover on the Fitzroy Development Rd that left a 20-year-old Mackay man trapped for two hours in a small work truck in serious pain.
The man was transported to Mackay Base Hospital where he will most likely undergo surgery on an injured leg.
Yesterday’s accident occurred a week after a similar crash on the same road, in which a 48-year-old truck driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a tree on the dirt road embankment.
The man was flown to Rockhampton in a stable condition with a fractured lower leg and multiple cuts and abrasions.
The crashes come at a time when the Central Queensland Aboriginal community at Woorabinda was mourning the death of a 16-year-old girl from a single-vehicle car crash after the 28-year-old driver allegedly drove away from police on Friday evening.
The central region’s road toll sits at 19, which is two more than last year for the same period.
“The whole community bears the cost of a high road toll, it’s a huge ongoing cost,” Insp Nelson said.
“There is more traffic on the road at this time of the year and it is important all motorists plan their trips- we’re asking everyone to be more vigilant over the coming period.
“As it is tourist season, there are a lot more grey nomads on the road and everyone just needs to be a bit more patient… most of the accidents police attend are completely preventable.
Emerald QFRS Captain Logan Macintosh said fatigue was a huge problem on Central Queensland roads and expressed concern that many drivers continued to ignore the signs.
“Unfortunately history shows it to be a busy time of the year for us,” Capt Macintosh said.
“People seem to get impatient sitting behind caravans and they end up taking risks that they really should not have.”
Emerald QFRS Operations Lieutenant Craig Adams attended the Gregory Hwy collision on Monday afternoon and said the results could have been a lot worse.
“Immediately it brought back memories of an accident in the same area just over a year ago,” Lt Adams said.
The accident in question involved a single truck which toppled into the creek.