Tragedy highlights emergency workers’ daily struggle
QUEENSLAND'S top traffic cop says every emergency services worker has a "story to tell" of trauma and tragedy on the road, admitting it was not unheard of to attend crashes where entire families have been killed.
"Unfortunately it happens far too often," he said.
"Every emergency services worker has a story to tell of having to face situations like this. It's tragic and it's personally very difficult to deal with.
"But I think the community acknowledges the tough job emergency services responders have and we are grateful for the support we get from the community."
Mr Keating said crashes where entire families are killed were sadly not unheard of.
"It does happen and over the years you do see whole families killed. It is a tragic situation, terribly tragic," he said.
"We are all real people and we all have our own families. Emergency services workers and police officers are dealing with people who are nearly them - who are members of their own community. They are dealing with members of their own community."
He said officers who attended the crash had access to counselling services.
"I think it's a real key point for our people - we say to them after an event like this, if you need some help, talk to somebody. You are a better person for speaking up and talking to people," Mr Keating said.
The crash occurred in the electorate of Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, who spoke to a senior police officer who had been at the scene throughout the night.
"Our local emergency service workers are obviously reeling from this as well," she said.
"They're doing exactly what they're trained to do but it is very tough.
"All of them will be struggling with this, this is a memory that they will take with them for the rest of their lives."
South Burnett Regional Council Mayor Keith Campbell said he would wait for police to conclude their investigations as to the cause of the crash.
Cr Campbell said that, generally speaking, the alignment and geometry of the Bunya Hwy required care.
The mayor urged locals to take care on South Burnett roads and said Monday's incident took the local road toll to eight lives in the past six weeks.
"Don't take risks, exercise and pay attention to the road rules," Cr Campbell said. "We are all subject to the possibility of accident."
He praised the work of firefighters, ambulance crews and police for their work on the night.
"Our deepest sympathies and regrets to the family, who have lost five of their own. Our heartfelt feelings to the truck drivers as well," he said. "Huge praise to our emergency services people who were on the scene as quickly as they possibly could be."
"Overall it's just a very sad situation and very, very regrettable."