Horse killed on Gympie road is sixth to be hit in 8 months
A COMMUTER who frequently drives the Cooloola-Maryborough Rd is warning motorists of the danger of wandering wild horses after he fatally struck one on the busy link road this morning.
Steven Tranter, a traffic controller from Hervey Bay, had previously seen horse carcasses on the stretch of road through Tuan State Forest that links the Cooloola Coast to Maryborough on his morning commute to Coondoo Bridge, east of Gympie.
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But he was left shocked and shaken when he added to the toll just before first light on his morning commute.
"I had just passed the Gympie Region sign on Cooloola-Maryborough Rd, when all of a suddenly there was this brown shape (on the road).
"By the time I realised it was a horse it was too late," Mr Tranter said.
Helped by a passing driver, Mr Tranter escaped unharmed - his car crumpled in at the front a likely write-off though and the horse dead on impact.
He shuddered to think of the outcome if he had been driving his smaller car rather than his Nissan Navara utility, he said.
"I was really gutted - I had not had the car very long and also I'm quite an animal lover - to hit one has been devastating," he said.
Mr Tranter, who has been using the road on and off for 18 months said he knew of six accidents involving horses and cars on the stretch this year.
According to the South East Queensland Brumby Association the region is a hotspot for brumbies, or wild horses, where an estimated 1000 live in the Tuan and Toolara State Forests surrounding Gympie, Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach and Maryborough.
Mr Tranter worried with a speed limit of 100km/h and the number of trucks using the road it was a more serious accident waiting to happen.
He said they often frequented the area close to the road between 5am and 7am looking for vegetation.
ABA members rescue horses from the Tuan and Toolara State Forests.