Young life lost: A 19-year-old Coles Creek man died at the scene on Sunday afternoon after attempting to turn into the south-bound lane of the Bruce Highway from the Matilda service station at Kybong.
Young life lost: A 19-year-old Coles Creek man died at the scene on Sunday afternoon after attempting to turn into the south-bound lane of the Bruce Highway from the Matilda service station at Kybong. David Crossley

Black spot crash kills teen

PULLING into Matilda turned into tragedy for a Coles Creek teenager, who was killed while driving out of the service station at Kybong on Sunday afternoon.

The 19-year-old P-plate driver was attempting to turn right into the south-bound lane of the Bruce Highway at about 2pm when a north-bound B-double refrigerator truck ploughed into the side of his white Hyundai Lantra sedan.

He died at the scene from severe head and chest injuries before rescuers could free him from the wreckage. The driver of the Kenworth prime mover escaped injury but was taken to Gympie Hospital suffering shock.

Officer in Charge of Gympie Ambulance Wayne Sachs said when paramedics arrived, the man was unconscious and barely breathing.

“About five years ago that part of the road was put back to 80kmh for this exact reason,” Mr Sachs said.

“A death trap” was how many locals described the intersection that claimed the life of a 19-year-old Coles Creek man on Sunday.

However, Gympie Ambulance OIC Wayne Sachs said it was the first fatal crash since the speed was reduced nearly five years ago.

“Prior to that there were numerous fatalities there,” he said.

Road safety expert Graham Smith said his daughter was lucky to escape without injury when her car collided with another vehicle at the same intersection.

“That got us stirred up about reducing the speed (but) at that time it was Main Road’s policy to keep main roads at 100kmh,” Mr Smith said, adding when council worker Craig Bason was killed on his way to work, it became one of the main factors that brought the speed reduction about.

“He was riding a motorbike north to Gympie when he was killed at that same spot. That caused quite a furore, particularly because council had approached Main Roads to reduce the speed and was refused. Now one of their own was killed. The campaign started and a whole range of people got on board.”

Gympie Regional Mayor Ron Dyne said changes to the intersection were not included in current upgrades.

“When that section is upgraded is anyone’s guess. There is no funding for it,” Cr Dyne said.

“It’s so distressing this keeps happening time and time again. Hopefully this latest death will provide the government with some incentive to find money to get the whole stretch upgraded more quickly.”

Gympie Times


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