Car hits tree, driver critical
A CURRA man, 38, is in a critical condition after his station wagon hit a tree yesterday.
It was believed the man lost control of his car on gravel at the fork of an intersection where Hooper and Curra Rds join to meet Atkinson Rd at Curra.
Witnesses said the Holden Commodore appeared to have been travelling at speed along Hooper Rd when it veered around the bend and hit the road's loose surface about 11.30am.
A nearby resident said the vehicle had "flown" around the corner, lost traction, fish-tailed and launched over the embankment before crashing head-on into a large gum tree.
Former US navy veteran and police officer Lawrence McKee said he and his neighbours ran out to help the injured man as soon as they heard the loud bang.
They forced him to remain in the driver's seat until the ambulance arrived as a safety precaution.
"I know what neck injuries can do," the 76-year-old Curra resident said.
"He unhooked his seatbelt and we hooked it back up and made him stay in the car.
"He hit it hard. The car's a total write-off."
A local postman doing deliveries along Hooper Rd pulled up at the scene and told witnesses the Holden Commodore had overtaken her moments before it crashed.
While the man wasn't trapped, Gympie firefighters assisted ambulance paramedics in removing him from the station wagon.
It was believed he passed out and regained consciousness at least three times before he could be stabilised and taken to Gympie Hospital by road.
The man was later transferred by medical helicopter to Royal Brisbane Hospital where he remains in intensive care for what is believed to be extensive internal injuries. It is understood the man is a resident of Hooper Rd.