DEADLY CRASH ON THE TRACK
A DREAM trip to Queensland has ended in tragedy for an elderly New South Wales couple after their makeshift campervan lost control on a Far North range.
The 70-year-old male driver was pronounced dead at the scene and his 68-year-old partner is in a stable condition in hospital after she had to be flown by helicopter from Wujal Wujal on Monday.
Forensic Crash Unit SenConstable Lee Chamberlain said it is believed the brakes of the converted truck may have failed as it descended the steep concrete section of track down the Cowie Range which is about 16km south of the community on the Bloomfield Track.
He said the vehicle rolled before hitting trees down a steep embankment and it was only after a major operation by Cooktown firefighters and the Barron River Towing company that they were able to reach it.
A local who uses the Track often described the aftermath.
“Road quality didn’t come into it,” he told the Gazette.
“It was an awful scene, with the front of the campervan smashed right up against the trees and a largeish boat and trailer behind,” he said.
“I couldn’t make out everything clearly (the emergency vehicles and the closing light made it difficult) but it certainly looked like it had developed enormous speed coming down the hill and just couldn’t be controlled at the end of the concrete stretch.
“While I couldn’t analyse the vehicle’s capabilities, it certainly looked like it was definitely the wrong vehicle for the Track.”
The campervan ended up here on the Bloomfield Track south of Wujal Wujal