‘With his brother now’: cruel twist in bus crash tragedy
A Goomboorian father who is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital could be yet to learn of the fate of his 29-year-old son who died in a tragic crash involving a packed school bus at Wolvi on Tuesday, which left both men trapped.
Alan Stevens, 68, was driving the 4WD his son Josiah William Stevens, was a passenger in when it collided with a school bus full of children at a T-intersection on Kin Kin and Wilsons Pocket Road about 4pm.
Tragically Josiah, the "sweet, friendly guy with the infectious smile" known as Joe, died at the scene despite the best efforts of paramedics to save him.
In a cruel twist it was the second serious crash Joe had endured in his short life, and unfathomably the second son Alan had lost to a Gympie region road.
Alan's second son Clancy David Stevens was just 17 when he and Joe were doubling late one night on a trail bike along Henry Rd at Goomboorian when they lost control while they were crossing a creek.
It was eight years ago when Clancy died instantly on the dead-end road and it was hours before help arrived the next morning in the form of an off-duty nurse, who found Joe, 22 at the time, semi-submerged in the creek on her way to work.
She did everything she could for Joe, who was suffering hypothermia, bleeding and swelling on the brain and a broken back, pelvis and leg, before he was airlifted to a Brisbane hospital and put in an induced coma.
He spent more than a week in a serious condition before being moved to Gympie hospital where he eventually recovered.
At the time of the February 2013 accident, floodwaters in Gympie stopped his father Alan from being by his bedside in Brisbane.
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Devastatingly, Joe could not cheat death a second time yesterday, and while a helicopter once again was on standby at Wolvi to airlift him to hospital, he died before he was given a second chance to pull through.
The tragedy could not have struck a nicer family, close friend Sheena Avison said.
Alan and Joe were very close, she said and lived together in granny flat on her Goomboorian property where they would often help out.
"He was a really sweet guy, super friendly … always helping my grandparents around the farm," Janelle Donna, a relative of Ms Avison, said.
"He was super close with his dad - they spent a lot of time together."
Ms Avison said he was wonderful and quick to help unload horse food on her property.
"He loved his dog, loved country music and was a regular at the Silky Oak Tearooms especially on full moon night.
"He had an infectious smile and wonderful laugh. He is with his young brother now."
His father remains in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and it is unknown if he knows about the death of his son.
The woman driving the bus was yesterday taken to hospital with minor injuries and has been praised as "saving the lives" of the 26 students who were on the bus when it crashed.
No students required hospitalisation, Queensland police reported.
The crash is being investigated.