Two killed in horrific crash
TWO local women aged 18 and 21 were killed when a fully-laden B-double timber truck collided with their small hatchback in a three- vehicle smash yesterday.
Another local girl, 18, was extracted from the same vehicle - a Daewoo Lanos - by fire crews from Tin Can Bay and Gympie and transported to Nambour by AGL Action Rescue Helicopter with non-life threatening injuries.
The crash happened only a few hundred metres from the Toolara Forest Station.
Initial reports from the scene suggested that about 1pm a caravan heading towards Gympie had slowed in front of a Toyota Camry station wagon which was followed by a Gomboorian Transport timber jinker.
However, Gympie Police Acting Senior Sergeant Chris Lee said police were not looking for a caravan and didn't believe it was involved in the crash.
Witnesses said the Camry slowed to avoid hitting the caravan but the truck did not have enough time to stop and rammed into the back of it.
The Camry carrying two Gympie men aged 41 and 42, spun around, spilling frozen prawns collected from Tin Can Bay for Christmas lunch all over the road and ending up down an embankment facing the road.
The logging truck speared off onto the wrong side of the road, colliding head-on with the Daewoo, which was displaying P-Plates.
The impact of the crash peeled the roof off the hatchback, completely crushing the vehicle and instantly killing the female driver.
Another young woman, 18, travelling in the back of the Daewoo, was alive when emergency crews arrived on scene but paramedics were unable to save her.
About 100 metres of black tyre marks, burnt into the Tin Can Bay Road and leading into scrub just after the Coondoo Creek Bridge, were grim evidence of the truck driver's efforts to avoid the smash.
The truck came to rest on its passenger side about 50m from the Daewoo, spewing its load of logs onto the road reserve.
The prime mover had plunged into thick scrub with only the trailer visible from the roadside. The driver sustained only minor cuts and bruising and was taken to Gympie Hospital.
Queensland Fire and Rescue and ambulance officers worked for more than an hour to extract and stabilise the surviving girl and treat the other injured, while rescue helicopters waited on the road.
AGL Action Rescue spokesperson Colin Brown said the girl had multiple injuries including a possible spinal injury.
Gympie Fire and Rescue Station Officer Rob Frey said fire officers then had the grissly job of extracting the deceased driver.
The two Gympie men in the station wagon were treated by ambulance officers at the scene.
They were later transported by EMQ Helicopter to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The wife of one of the men in the first vehicle struck from behind said her husband, who was driving the Camry, had lost consciousness after the accident and could not remember what happened.
The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said her husband's friend and passenger in the vehicle had to pull him from the wreck.
Another witness said he was unsure why the accident occurred but saw the truck swerve into oncoming traffic and end up in the scrub.
Broken glass, car parts and pieces of metal surrounded the scene as police, ambulance and fire and rescue officers tried to make sense of what had happened - no one could believe two more people had died on Gympie region roads.
Station officer Frey said Fire and Rescue's role was safety and rescue assistance.
He said it was another horrific accident on Gympie roads and the four survivors were in varying states of consciousness.
“It is tragic on all levels. I feel for the police who have to tell another two families their loved ones are deceased,” he said.
Police Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the cause of the crash.
Snr Sgt Lee said the women in the Daewoo were from Tin Can Bay and Gympie and were heading to Tin Can Bay.
He said it would be a significant investigation and the road would be blocked for hours.
At nightfall, traffic to and from the coast was still being diverted through Maryborough.
“Police have a massive traffic enforcement operation every day throughout the Gympie region and are at a loss as to why these crashes are still occurring.
“As the road trauma increases so will enforcement,” he said.
Snr Sgt Lee reminded people to be safe on the roads and said it was “better to arrive late then not at all”.