Bad year so far for road tragedies
THE near-Gympie Region yesterday made a tragic new contribution to the horrifying death toll on Queensland roads this year.
A Eumundi motorcyclist who died after a two-vehicle crash near Cooroy yesterday morning is understood to have been the 17th road crash victim in the first 20 days of this year.
That crash, about 8.20am, came about 10 hours after a vehicle rollover at Curra left a young man fighting for his life with multiple chest injuries.
Police said the man, 19, was thrown from his vehicle and critically injured when it rolled in Carmel Cres, about 10pm Thursday.
About 20 minutes later, police, ambulance and Queensland Fire and Rescue Service crews were alerted to a single-vehicle truck crash on the Bruce Hwy at Coles Creek.
That crash left the highway blocked or partly blocked for nearly six hours, as emergency workers cleared the roadway of debris.
Gympie police said the truck crashed into the highway bridge over Coles Creek, smashing long lengths of guard rail and bridge railing before plunging into the creek, with its load of earthmoving equipment.
A heavy salvage vehicle was needed to winch the truck and its load up the creek bank.
Sgt Vic Tipman said emergency crews were called in after a passing motorist's tyre was punctured by debris.
On Thursday, before the motorcyclist's death, police had expressed their concern at the worrying death toll on Queensland roads, with 16 dead in only 19 days.
The motorcyclist is understood to have been the 17th person to die on Queensland roads in the first 20 days of 2012, according to police reports yesterday.
Police Media announced at 11.25am that the man died after losing control of his machine at Tinbeerwah, near Cooroy, about 8.20am.
The fatality came after two other serious crashes in the near-Gympie area late Thursday night.
A teenager, critically injured in a single-vehicle rollover at Curra, was taken to Nambour Hospital.
Police said yesterday the 19-year-old male was thrown from his car and suffered severe and multiple chest injuries when the vehicle left the road and rolled in Carmel Cres, about 10pm.
His four passengers were not badly injured in the crash, police said.
Less than half an hour later, Gympie police were called to the scene of a dramatic truck crash on the Bruce Hwy at Coles Creek, south of Gympie.
The crash left the truck in Coles Creek, the creek's bridge severely damaged and debris strewn across the highway.
Police, ambulance and Queensland Fire and Rescue crews were called to the scene after a passing motorist blew out a tyre on the debris.
It is believed the truck was carrying earthmoving equipment and a heavy recovery vehicle was required to salvage the truck and load.
About 40m of bridge and guard rail was damaged and the highway was partially closed until 4am.
The truck driver was taken to Nambour Hospital, police said.