Tributes flow after crash claims young family

TRIBUTES to a young family killed in a car crash near Quilpie are flowing from communities all over south-west Queensland.

Peter Kirby, 33, Shannah McKellar, 24, and their eight-month-old son Seth died in a head-on collision near Quilpie just after 5pm Thursday.

Shannah was more than three months pregnant with her third child - the couple's second together - at the time.

Her half-sister, Toni, reportedly died on the same stretch of road in 2004.

The couple had only recently moved to Chinchilla where they were building a life together with their new son.

Shannah worked as a cleaner at the Annand Mews Serviced Apartments in Toowoomba before making the move to Chinchilla less than a year ago.

Shannah McKellar, Peter Kirby and eight-month-old son Seth were killed in a crash on the Diamantina Development Rd near Quilpie late Thursday afternoon. Photo Contributed
Shannah McKellar, Peter Kirby and eight-month-old son Seth were killed in a crash on the Diamantina Development Rd near Quilpie late Thursday afternoon. Photo Contributed Contributed

A former co-worker, who did not wish to be named, remembered her as a hard-working, happy girl who loved life.

"We were all devastated to hear what happened. All the girls are very upset," she said.

"She was a really nice kid, a very conscientious worker and a happy, bright girl.

"She was beautiful.

"I hadn't met Peter, but I knew she loved her gorgeous children."

It is believed the trio, who also had strong connections to Cunnamulla, were driving west when their car crashed into a utility travelling in the opposite direction on Diamantina Development Rd, near Quilpie.

Friends and family took to Facebook to share their grief.

"My heart goes out to all the McKellars' and Kirbys' families today for the loss of their dearly beloved father/son/uncle etc," posted one friend.

"Rest in paradise Peter Kirby, Shannah and baby."

"Honestly, I am too shocked for words," a family member wrote.

"Just wish this was all a dream... You'll be sadly missed but never forgotten."

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Ray Brown said his heart went out to those affected by the loss.

"It is a very sad day for family and friends," he said.

"Particularly with the Chinchilla Show holiday being (yesterday) there was a lot of discussion through the community.

"Nobody wants to see a loss of life like that on a rural country road.

"It highlights the need for safer roads in regional Australia."

The 57-year-old man driving the other vehicle sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Shannah leaves behind two children while Peter leaves behind five children.

Charleville police are still investigating the cause of the crash.


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