A French tourist was airlifted to Royal Brisbane Hospital on Sunday night after the Hippie camper van he was driving and a Nissan Navara collided head on at Rainbow Beach.
A French tourist was airlifted to Royal Brisbane Hospital on Sunday night after the Hippie camper van he was driving and a Nissan Navara collided head on at Rainbow Beach. Contributed

Hippie Van smash ends in roll over

A FRENCH backpacker is in Royal Brisbane Hospital nursing broken legs and head injuries after being involved in a major accident on Carlo Road Rainbow Beach Sunday night.

The 24-year-old French man was heading toward Rainbow Beach around 7pm when his brightly painted van collided head on with a fully laden Nissan Navara 4WD towing a trailer and a family of four.

The impact from the collision lifted the van into the air and rolled it onto the roof, wedging it against the 4WD.

The injured backpacker was left hanging upside down in the crushed cabin of his van for more than an hour while Ambulance and Fire and Rescue crews from Gympie and Rainbow Beach set about rescuing him.

Gympie Fire and Rescue station officer Graham Alder, said when the Gympie crew arrived at the crash scene ambulance officers and an auxiliary fire crew from Rainbow Beach had stabilised the driver and started to use hydraulic cutting equipment to free him from the wreck.

“He was lucky to be alive. He had severe injuries- his legs were pretty crook. If there was passenger in the van they wouldn’t have survived,” station officer Alder He said the driver of the van wasn’t the only one lucky to escape with his life.

The driver of the 4WD was within centimetres of serious injury or worse when the sub frame from the van stopped just short of punching through the driver’s side window.

The occupants of the Nissan Navara, a family heading for a camping holiday, suffered minor injuries and were transported to Gympie Hospital by road ambulance.

The driver of the van was taken by AGL Rescue Helicopter to Royal Brisbane hospital.

An AGL spokesperson said the helicopter was tasked to a motor vehicle accident at 7.54pm involving two vehicles at Rainbow Beach.

The French driver sustained multi-trauma with injuries to his head and compound fractures to both legs.

He was airlifted to hospital in a serious condition.

In other news, Gympie Fire and Rescue responded to a small fire at Centro Shopping Centre on Saturday night.

Yesterday they were called to a vehicle fire near Gresham Road Kybong, only to discover it had been extinguished before their arrival.

Gympie Times


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