FAM­ILY REEL­ING FROM WOODCHIP TRAGEDY

Trib­utes flow for man killed in hor­ror ac­ci­dent

NewsMail - - FRONT PAGE - Ash­ley Clark and Frances Klein

THE fam­ily of a Bund­aberg man killed in hor­rific cir­cum­stances when he fell into a wood­chip­per have told of their shock af­ter the in­ci­dent.

Bruce Saun­ders, 54, died in­stantly af­ter he be­came trapped in the ma­chine while mulching branches at a Goom­boo­rian prop­erty, near Gympie, on Sun­day even­ing.

Mr Saun­ders’ Bund­aberg fam­ily and those who knew him took to the NewsMail Face­book page yes­ter­day to pay their re­spects.

“It was very hard to wrap our heads around (Mon­day) when we got the news about Un­cle Bruce, it’s a hor­ri­ble in­ci­dent,” Katrina Har­ring­ton said.

THE fam­ily of a Bund­aberg man killed in hor­rific cir­cum­stances when he fell into a wood­chip­per have told of their shock af­ter the in­ci­dent.

Bruce Saun­ders, 54, died in­stantly af­ter he be­came trapped in the ma­chine while mulching branches at a Goom­boo­rian prop­erty, near Gympie, on Sun­day even­ing.

Mr Saun­ders’ Bund­aberg fam­ily and those who knew him took to the NewsMail Face­book page yes­ter­day to pay their re­spects.

“It was very hard to wrap our heads around (Mon­day) when we got the news about Un­cle Bruce, it’s a hor­ri­ble in­ci­dent,” Katrina Har­ring­ton said.

“...just so hard to come to terms with,” Mr Saun­ders’ sis­ter Su­sanne said.

“RIP un­cle,” Scotty Schn­abel said.

NewsMail read­ers were shocked by the news and showed their sym­pa­thy to the fam­ily.

“So hor­rific, can’t even be­gin to imag­ine what they are go­ing though. RIP to the man who passed away, and prayers for the fam­i­lies,” Jenny Frew posted to the Face­book page.

“Very trau­matic and so very sad. Thoughts and prayers with ev­ery­one in­volved,” Angie Sleswick said.

Two friends, who were work­ing along­side the 54-year-old, des­per­ately tried to free him as he was pulled into the ma­chine, but po­lice said the man died in­stantly.

Gympie Act­ing In­spec­tor Paul Al­gie said the cir­cum­stances were hor­rific, but the in­ci­dent was not be­ing treated as sus­pi­cious.

“He was plac­ing a tree into a tree shredder; he’s be­come en­tan­gled within the ma­chine and has died as a re­sult of his in­juries,” he said.

“He was found by his two friends, they at­tempted to get him out of the ma­chine and were un­able to do so.”

The scene was one of the most har­row­ing he had come across in 16 years of polic­ing, Act Insp Al­gie said.

“I went out there this morning to speak to of­fi­cers from Bris­bane and I’d have to say it’s one of the worst in­ci­dent scenes I’ve ever seen,” he said.

“There was noth­ing that could be done to save this gen­tle­man.”

He could not go into de­tails about the man’s in­juries, but said spe­cial­ist po­lice unit Disaster Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Squad had been brought in from Bris­bane to iden­tify the man.

The three men had been us­ing a hired wood­chip­per with a 15-inch blade for the third week­end in a row to help clear a woman’s drive­way when the hor­ren­dous event un­folded at 7.40pm.

Act Insp Al­gie said po­lice and emer­gency work­ers who re­sponded to the emer­gency call were con­fronted with a trau­matic scene.

“(They were) ob­vi­ously deal­ing with the dis­tressed peo­ple that were there, but also try­ing to process what they un­cov­ered there around the tree shredder,” he said.

They would be of­fered sup­port ser­vices, Act Insp Al­gie said, while Gympie po­lice work with foren­sic crash po­lice from Mary­bor­ough and Work­place Safety Queens­land.

The ma­chine has been im­pounded by po­lice and sub­ject to a me­chan­i­cal in­spec­tion, with re­sults from spe­cial­ist engi­neers not ex­pected for at least a week.

❝ It was very hard to wrap our heads around... — Niece Katrina Har­ring­ton

PHOTO: FACE­BOOK

SAD LOSS: Bund­aberg man Bruce Saun­ders died near Gympie on Sun­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.