News

Fatal crash driver wasn’t hooning, he fell asleep

TRAGEDY: The driver of this Commodore ute fell asleep driving back into Gympie after dropping a friend home.
TRAGEDY: The driver of this Commodore ute fell asleep driving back into Gympie after dropping a friend home. Craig Warhurst

FRIENDS are rallying around the 19-year-old driver involved in Tuesday night's road crash tragedy and asking people to think before posting negative comments on social media.

The driver's friend, John Bates, is upset that some online commentary suggests the driver of the blue Commodore ute involved in the crash was hooning.

Other's comments say police had charged the driver with manslaughter.

None of the comments are true.

Mr Bates said the real story about the accident was his friend had fallen asleep at the wheel and crossed on to the wrong side of the road and collided with a white Corolla sedan.

The impact killed the 40-year-old female driver of the Corolla and injured three others.

The devastated driver of the Commodore, who wished not to be named, said he had been sick with the flu and dropped a friend home that night before returning home.

He said he had cruise control set while travelling along the Bruce Hwy back into town and slipped into a micro-sleep.

"I woke up half way through the crash," he said.

The driver is still coming to terms with the tragedy and offered his deepest sympathies to the family of the dead woman.

He said he was willing to accept the consequences of his actions.

"It doesn't feel real yet, it hasn't hit me," the driver said.

"But I have to face it now, it's how it is."

Mr Bates said the crash was a tragedy for all concerned, especially for the family of the dead woman.

But he also urged people to spare a thought for his friend, the driver of the car that crossed on to the wrong side of the road.

"It's not something he ever wanted to happen to anyone," Mr Bates said.

"He has to live with this for the rest of his life."

At the Gympie Hospital on Tuesday night, while Mr Bates was waiting to check on his friend, he spoke to family of the deceased woman and offered their deepest sympathies.

"Its something no one wants to go through," he said.

But negative comments on social media where one or two people jump to conclusions doesn't help anyone, Mr Bates said.

Some comments on Facebook and Twitter about young drivers being reckless had caused distress to people in an already difficult situation, but one comment on The Gympie Times Facebook page was welcomed by Mr Bates.

Glenne Lenske posted this about the accident.

"Devastating, for all concerned. This speculation helps no-one, and has no basis in fact, a 40-year-old can make an error, become distracted or confronted with an animal on the road, as easily as a 19-year-old. Finding fault is not the public's role. Let's stick to being a supportive community, not an accusing one."

Mr Bates thanked Mr Lenske for the comment and said friends of the driver would stand by him through this tough time.

Yesterday police hadn't charged the driver with an offence resulting from the crash.

Also a report in Wednesday's The Gympie Times saying the 19-year-old driver had been transferred to Royal Brisbane Hospital was false.

The driver had was released from hospital with minor injuries.

Gympie Times

Topics:  bruce highway fatality



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

Gympie MP defends the cost of LNP preselection

Tim Nichols and Tony Perrett at the USC building in Gympie.

'I pay it without question. This is not new.'

Coffee: part of a healthy diet

HEALTHY: A cup or four of coffee a day can help improve your health. Remember these facts for those friends who try to rain on your caffeine parade.

Remeber this anytime someone pick on you for drinking coffee

Girl taken to hospital after alleged assault

Police generic, crime scene.  Photo Tessa Mapstone / South Burnett Times

Emergency services were called to Glenwood last night

Local Partners

Kim Kardashian slammed over Manchester tribute

KIM Kardashian has been slammed by her followers after posting a tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack.

Top Gun 2 movie is happening, Tom Cruise confirms

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Top Gun.

TOM Cruise delights fans with announcement on Sunrise.

The first Baywatch movie reviews are in

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

Critics were less than impressed.

Boyfriend loses it over sex lie

Stacey Louise’s sex lie destroys her relationship.

SEVEN Year Switch’s Stacey told a fib about her sex life.

Why Crowe’s thankful for those ‘bulls**t’ rumours

Russell Crowe and Terri Irwin in 2007.

Crowe and Terri Irwin have been dodging dating rumours for years now

MOVIE REVIEW: King Arthur - Legend of the Sword

Charlie Hunnam in a scene from the movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Why the critics have got Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur all wrong.

Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

There have been multiple confirmed deaths after 'explosions' heard at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

"We saw blood on people when we got outside."

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!