The driver of a crumpled Ford is fighting for her life in Royal Brisbane Hospital after colliding head-on with a B-Double at the site of a road side memorial for Rachel Purdy and Corey Whitmore, two of the victims of a triple fatality on September 4, 2008.
The driver of a crumpled Ford is fighting for her life in Royal Brisbane Hospital after colliding head-on with a B-Double at the site of a road side memorial for Rachel Purdy and Corey Whitmore, two of the victims of a triple fatality on September 4, 2008. Renee Pilcher

Woman fights for life after crash

A WOMAN is fighting for her life in the Royal Brisbane Hospital after her Ford Mondeo collided head-on with a B-double prime mover on the Bruce Highway just south of Gympie early yesterday.

The collision happened just before 6.30am when the Nambour woman, 36, was heading towards Gympie on a notorious stretch of highway with her three-year-old son as a passenger in the car.

It is believed her car may have veered onto the wrong side of the road and into the path of the B-double combination near Coles Creek just metres from where four lives were claimed in 2008.

The truck, which was not carrying a load, was driven by a Maroochydore man, 33, who was uninjured in the crash.

Passers-by removed the woman’s daughter from the mangled vehicle before firefighters arrived to free the woman, who was trapped in the wreckage. Gympie firefighter Rob Frey said it was a difficult extrication and took about 35 minutes.

The woman, who had multiple injuries including suspected leg fractures and a head injury, was trapped for about an hour in the crumpled wreck before being airlifted by helicopter to the RBH by Emergency Management Queensland. Her son was taken to Nambour General Hospital with minor injures.

An RBH spokesperson late yesterday said the woman immediately underwent surgery to stop bleeding and was now in ICU in a critical but stable condition.

Imbil Police Acting Sergeant Bill Greer described the crash scene as looking like a “war zone”.

He said it was not unlike the 2008 crash that claimed the lives of Corey Whitmore, Rachel Purdy, her unborn child, and Mark Hamilton.

“The truck came to rest about five metres from the roadside memorial of the (2008) crash,” Sgt Greer said.

Sgt Greer said the woman received the full force of the collision impact, which closed the Bruce Highway for four-and-a-half hours.

“The motor of the car was torn out and thrown about 20 metres,” he said.

The crash also damaged the front tyres of the truck and its undercarriage, spilling fuel onto the road, suggesting to Sgt Greer that at one point the car was under the truck before being pushed back into the northbound lane.

“Everyone has their own theories on why these crashes happen here, at the end of the day everyone needs to pay more attention,” he said.

Sgt Greer agreed barriers to separate traffic could have stopped the crash, and he agreed with RACQ calls to make the highway safer to stop a mistake from costing someone their life.

Gympie Times


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