News

Fun road trip turned into highway horror

The Toyota Yaris the group of four were travelling in was almost unrecognisable in the crash.
The Toyota Yaris the group of four were travelling in was almost unrecognisable in the crash. Contributed

TWO Gympie boys and two of their friends remain in hospital after a road trip last Friday night turned into a highway horror.

Former Gympie State High School students Zane, 20, and Reece Armstrong, 18, were on their way to Maryborough with Zane's girlfriend Laura Anderson, 18, and her twin Hannah, both from Eumundi, to watch a friend's football game when their Toyota Yaris was hit by an on-coming van at Pineapple Hill, north of Tiaro, around 8pm.

The group was travelling north on the Bruce Hwy when the south-bound Toyota Hiace van, carrying six people thought to be on their way from Gladstone to the Sunshine Coast for a 21st birthday party, swerved in front of then to evade banked up traffic.

The van crashed head-on into the Yaris, sending the hatchback off the road and rolling down an embankment where it eventually landed on its roof.

Zane, Reece, Hannah and Laura all had to be cut from the wreck.

The carnage at the scene was described by Wide Bay Forensic Crash Unit Sergeant Steve Webb as looking like "a war zone" but somehow all four survived to tell the tale.

But they are not out of the woods - or hospital - yet.

Laura remains in Nambour General Hospital after being airlifted there from the crash; Zane is in Princess Alexandra hospital while Hannah and Reece remain side by side in the Royal Brisbane hospital.

The boys' mother Julie Armstrong said the four active and fun-loving youths were currently bed-ridden and in extreme pain as they began a slow road to recovery from extensive injuries.

She said Laura had a broken shoulder, abdominal injuries and a swollen vertebrae which has required her to wear a back brace.

"She's pretty sore," Julie said.

Hannah was recovering from a broken leg and surgery to repair a two broken arms while Zane needed surgery to fix his broken collarbone after the impact of the crash was so severe the bone snapped off and was left sitting near his rib cage.

Zane is also suffering a broken sternum, which had to be wired into place, as well as broken ribs and punctured lungs.

It is Reece, however, who may require the longest stint in rehab as he learns to walk again after shattering his knee.

Julie said it was sad result for the happy-go-lucky 18-year-old who had just taken up running as part of an endeavour to keep fit.

Reece is also contending with broken arms that have been plated back together, internal injuries which required surgery after his muscles were torn away from his abdominal wall.

The injuries were the haunting hallmarks of a situation a mother hopes never to face.

"It's really sad to see," said Julie, who is a mother of nine.

"It's probably every mother's worse nightmare.

"I never thought I would ever see my boys like that.

"(But it's) really wonderful they were able to come out alive."

Gympie Times

Topics:  accident, bruce highway, gympie




Will the Rattler get it right this time?

Mayor Mick Curran with the Mary Valley Rattler.

Writer not happy with $65 levy to restart the Rattler

Shoppers, check your bank accounts

“The exact purchase had been deducted from my account twice, five seconds apart.”

Gympie shoppers, check your bank statements

Three-vehicle smash backs up Bruce Hwy

Ambulance Photo: Cade Mooney / Sunshine Coast Daily

ALL lanes of traffic have been affected

Latest deals and offers

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Bindi Irwin: 18 magic photos to mark her 18th birthday

Bindi Irwin with a python.

Photos: Bindi Irwin from babyhood to 18

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles