Calls for govt action after latest Bruce Hwy fatality

FATAL CRASH: A 40-year-old local woman died in a head-on collision on the Bruce Hwy near Waddell Rd on Tuesday night. Hers is the third death on the Bruce Hwy near Gympie in three weeks. PHOTO: CRAIG WARHURST
FATAL CRASH: A 40-year-old local woman died in a head-on collision on the Bruce Hwy near Waddell Rd on Tuesday night. Hers is the third death on the Bruce Hwy near Gympie in three weeks. PHOTO: CRAIG WARHURST

THE tragic death of a 40-year-old local mum in a Bruce Hwy crash on Tuesday night has councillor Wayne Sachs calling for action from government and the community.

Cr Sachs, who is also a Gympie ambulance officer, said three deaths on the Bruce Hwy near Gympie in three weeks was not acceptable.

He wants a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss to discuss fast tracking the four laning of the Bruce Hwy past Gympie to prevent head-on collisions.

"We can't wait 20 years to get four lanes, we need Sections C and D done now," Cr Sachs said.

"We need to re-evaluate and bite the bullet, otherwise more people will die."

Emergency services braved near-freezing conditions on Tuesday night to help five people involved in the head-on collision just north of Gympie near the Waddell Rd intersection.

A northbound Toyota Corolla carrying four people and a southbound Holden Commodore ute with one on board collided at about 9.40pm.

The impact of the crash crushed the front of the Corolla and spun it so it faced in the opposite direction to the way it had been travelling.

The Commodore was propelled off the opposite side of the road and came to rest on an embankment.

The driver of the Corolla, a 40-year-old woman, was pronounced dead at the scene. A 14-year-old boy who was in the front passenger seat was trapped in the vehicle and had to be cut free by Gympie Fire and Rescue officers. He was choppered to the Royal Brisbane Hospital in a critical condition.

The other occupants of the Corolla, a 16-year-old male and 16 year-old female, were taken to Gympie Hospital.

A Gympie Hospital spokesperson said yesterday the 16-year-old male was later transferred from Gympie Hospital to Nambour General Hospital in a stable condition.

The 16-year-old female was transferred to Royal Brisbane in a stable but critical condition and the 19-year-old driver of the Holden Commodore was airlifted to Royal Brisbane with significant but not life threatening injuries.

Gympie Fire and Rescue station officer Matt Phillips said when the Gympie crew arrived at the scene they worked with ambulance officers to stabilise the trapped boy. They used hydraulic tools to cut open the doors of the vehicle and then to prise the dash off the legs of the boy.

Cr Sachs said the community needed to band together and say "enough is enough" and try to fast-track the Bruce Hwy upgrade.

He urged everyone to be careful on the road and think about road safety before embarking on a journey.

Gympie Times

Topics:  bruce highway fatality government

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