Police speak to crash witness

The scene that confronted emergency services personnel sent to the fatal truck crash on the Capricorn Highway last week.
The scene that confronted emergency services personnel sent to the fatal truck crash on the Capricorn Highway last week.

POLICE will wait for autopsy and toxicology results to further determine the cause of a fatal accident west of Emerald last Thursday night.

Sunshine Coast truck driver Warren Gattera died when his road train sideswiped an oncoming fully laden cattle truck on the Capricorn Highway 11km from Anakie.

The town’s officer in charge Sergeant Brad Cowell said police had taken a statement from a motorist who witnessed the horror crash.

“We have spoken to a witness who observed the deceased driver’s manner of driving,” he said.

“The male driver had followed behind the truck for some distance prior to the accident.”

Sgt Cowell said Mr Gattera, a 40-year-old Beerwah father of four, was thrown from the cabin of his vehicle which was ripped apart in the collision.

The driver of the cattle truck, a 46-year-old man from Aramac in the Central West, was not injured in the incident, but was later taken to Emerald Hospital for observation and released shortly afterward.

Sgt Cowell confirmed police had yet to speak with the man.

“Both these men were experienced drivers, so it just goes to show that even experienced drivers can make mistakes that end up with tragic circumstances,” he said.

“It is very unlikely that either driver went anywhere near the brakes from the impact. Basically it was a very severe sideswipe and both on the driver’s side.

“They hit, continued on in opposite directions and one toppled over the other severely jack-knifed.

“Both trucks were sideways across the road with 500 metres between them and hundreds of litres of diesel and accident debris in between.

“The vehicles will be mechanically inspected. ”

The Capricorn Highway was closed for more than 12 hours.

It was the second road death in the Central Highlands in 48 hours last week.

A Moranbah man died when his motorcycle collided with a stray beast on the Peak Downs Highway 50km east of Clermont on Tuesday, April 12.

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