Four dead in horror day on North’s roads
FOUR people have been killed and five injured in a shocking day on the Bruce Highway in North Queensland.
Two separate crashes less than two hours and 100km apart along the notorious road claimed the lives of three Italian backpackers and a 15- year- old girl.
A ute and a sedan collided head on about 11.50am 10km south of Bowen, killing the teenage passenger and injuring the 45- year- old female driver and two other passengers, aged eight and 11.
The driver of the ute was uninjured but was treated in hospital for shock.
In the second crash, south of Home Hill, a station wagon carrying backpackers left the road and rolled, killing two men and a woman inside.
The 25- year- old male driver and a 26year- old woman were taken to Townsville Hospital in a serious but stable condition.
FOUR people died within two hours in two horrific crashes on the Bruce Highway yesterday.
About 11.50am a girl, 15, died when a sedan and a utility collided head- on 10km south of Bowen.
Then at 1.55pm south of Home Hill, three Italian backpackers were killed after their station wagon left the road and rolled after hitting a concrete barrier.
The male driver, 25, and a female passenger, 26, were flown to Townsville Hospital, where they were in a stable condition last night.
In the earlier incident, a woman, 45, and two children, eight and 11, were cut from the car and taken to Bowen Hospital, where they remain in a stable condition.
The driver of the ute was uninjured, but treated for shock at Bowen Hospital.
The Bruce Highway was still down to one lane south of Bowen last night.
Townsville Inspector Roger Whyte said police investigating the Home Hill tragedy had yet to determine how the car left the road.
“It wasn’t pretty … it’s a very bizarre crash, it’s still being investigated and I’d only be speculating, but it’s a straight stretch of road and all of a sudden the vehicle has veered to the left for whatever reason,” he said.
“The driver will be interviewed, they will look at the evidence found at the scene and try and draw some conclusions for the coroner.
“If the investigation shows any signs of criminality, then charges will be laid, but I’m not pre- empting anything – there’s a bit of work to be done yet.”
It is understood the occupants of the car were working on farms in the Burdekin region.
Insp Whyte said other farm workers rushed to the scene and were inconsolable as the bodies of their friends were freed from the wreckage.
The Bruce Highway was closed in both directions for over two hours, later opening to one lane of traffic.
Insp Whyte said the double tragedy was a reminder for drivers to take their time on the road and drive to the prevailing conditions.
“This tragic incident highlights the requirement for all motorists to go steady, keep to the road rules, buckle up and if they are unfamiliar with the road, slow down and get an appreciation of the area,” he said.
Hill 2pm, Home
Bowen 11.50am SHOCKING SCENE: Crews work feverishly to free passengers trapped pped inside an overturned car south of Home Hill yesterdayyes and d ( right ht), the scene of the earlier crash near Bowen.
AFTERMATH: Paramedics carry one of the injured to an ambulance and ( inset) a helicopter lifts off from the Home Hill scene.