Miner recalls ‘brief few seconds’ of near-death experience
A Bowen Basin mine manager has recalled the night he and his workmates almost lost their lives on the Peak Downs Highway - in the hope sharing their story might save others.
While working for Peabody at Coppabella, Dane Nielsen was travelling out for night shift with a car full of his team when another vehicle overtook a B-double on double white lines.
Mr Nielsen's vehicle had nowhere to go, veered off the road and was T-boned by other vehicle.
The accident shut the highway for five hours but thankfully, everyone was OK.
"Having lived through it, I still remember those brief few seconds when my life flashed before my eyes," he said.
"It has changed my perspective on that road.
"If we change the perception of even just two or three drivers, we'll make Peak Downs Highway a safer place."
At the end of last year, BHP ran a road safety campaign - 12 days of Road Safety - to highlight the key hazards which often result in serious accidents and advice on how to manage them.
The campaign included road safety messages, asset presidents and mine general managers taking to the airwaves to speak about road safety and BHP joining with local police in Moranbah for a roadside safety blitz.
Police have since labelled the campaign a success, with a drop in traffic crashes across Mackay district and Moranbah.
Police are continuing this campaign and held a roadside fatigue initiative at Nebo earlier this week.
Mr Nielsen, who is now the South Walker Creek Mine production manager, has joined the campaign to help change miners' attitudes about road safety.
"This work with police is important because we're asking everyone to really think about their behaviour on the road and the consequences," he said.
"That extra five or six minutes you might save if you're doing 110 or 120 in 100 zone, is it really worth it?
"I don't think so. I don't think anyone would think it's worth it understanding what the consequences can be."