BUSH TRAGEDY

Mum killed break­ing up fight be­tween her son and hus­band

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS McMA­HON

A WOMAN has died af­ter try­ing to break up a fight be­tween her hus­band and son, in the small out­back town of Ara­mac.

Ann Hay, 55, died in Townsville Hos­pi­tal on Tues­day af­ter in­ter­ven­ing in a punch- up in the town’s main street on Satur­day night.

It is un­der­stood Mrs Hay – well known in the area – was hit in the face and fell, knock­ing her head on the foot­path.

The bush tragedy has left the close- knit town of Ara­mac, north of Lon­greach, reel­ing.

It is be­lieved the fight broke out be­tween son Rob­bie and hus­band David around 9.15pm.

Mrs Hay tried to break up the scuf­fle but ended up on the ground with a head in­jury.

She was taken home but her health quickly de­clined.

An am­bu­lance was called and Mrs Hay was rushed to Bar­cal­dine Hos­pi­tal be­fore be­ing flown to Townsville Hos­pi­tal in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice Cen­tral West Dis­trict In­spec­tor Mark Hen­der­son con­firmed the fight was be­tween fam­ily mem­bers, say­ing it was un­known what caused the dis­agree­ment and who dealt the fa­tal blow to Mrs Hay.

“We still aren’t 100 per cent sure how, but some­how she … re­ceived a bro­ken eye socket, then fell to the ground and frac­tured her skull, had a bleed and ( has later) died,” he said.

“We cer­tainly don’t know whether she got punched or walked into a punch, or walked into an el­bow. We re­ally haven’t been able to defini­tively get that an­swer.”

Insp Hen­der­son said no charges had yet been laid but in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­tin­ued.

“It’s a very dif­fi­cult time, so we are try­ing our best to show a bit of com­pas­sion,” he said.

“But, typ­i­cal of Ara­mac, no one wants to talk and no one has seen any­thing, or heard any­thing, even though there was a crowd watch­ing.

“It has been a bit dif­fi­cult, but we will con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate – we won’t call it off yet and see how we go.”

Insp Hen­der­son said tragic deaths such as Mrs Hay’s usu­ally had a pro­nounced ef­fect on small towns.

“It has af­fected the com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially one the size of Ara­mac,” he said.

“It is a ter­ri­ble tragedy for that town and that fam­ily.

“We will do our best to con­tinue to mon­i­tor the town and see how things go – we do try to keep a lid on any­thing.”

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