COM­MU­NITY MOURNS AF­TER FA­TAL CRASH

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Inge Hansen Inge.Hansen @whit­sun­day­times.com.au

“THERE were a few mo­ments where it was grim, where we thought we were go­ing to wit­ness him not be able to get out.”

This was the out­come Todd Robert­son and many oth­ers were des­per­ate to avoid when Kevin Rogers’ car burst into flames af­ter crash­ing into a power pole on Sun­day at Hamil­ton Plains.

About 10.40am, the 76-year-old was driv­ing along Shute Har­bour Rd, 100m east of its in­ter­sec­tion with the Bruce Hwy, when the ac­ci­dent oc­curred.

He was taken to Proser­pine Hospi­tal for treat­ment of sig­nif­i­cant burns be­fore be­ing air­lifted to the burns unit of the Royal Bris­bane Hospi­tal, where he later died on Tues­day.

Lo­cals from the Proser­pine com­mu­nity where Mr Rogers was well known for his Farm HQ business and from Midge Point, where he was a mem­ber of the Progress As­so­ci­a­tion, have since been ex­press­ing their sad­ness at the tragedy.

On Tues­day, Midge Point Progress As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary Colleen Birtwistle emailed mem­bers with the news, de­scrib­ing Mr Rogers as “one of the pil­lars of our com­mu­nity”.

“Thoughts are with the fam­ily at this sad time and our Kevin will be missed ev­ery day,” she said.

Todd Robert­son, 26, and his house­mate Zane Reid were on their way to Air­lie Beach when they found them­selves be­hind the hor­ror crash.

“We just thought we should in­ves­ti­gate and make sure no one was in the car, so we went down the road,” Mr Robert­son said.

“The per­son in the car was try­ing to step out and there were the ca­bles from the pow­er­line that were over the car and over the door and he was rel­a­tively trapped and that was the prob­lem.”

Mr Robert­son made mul­ti­ple attempts to free Mr Rogers, but the dis­tance be­tween the pair cou­pled with the flames made his attempts nearly im­pos­si­ble, un­til another man came run­ning to help, armed with a fire ex­tin­guisher.

They then laid him down away from the wreck­age and Mr Reid in­structed on­look­ers to col­lect wet tow­els to put over his body.

Mr Robert­son said ev­ery­one on the scene did as much as they could and “ev­ery lit­tle help­ing hand (on Sun­day) made a dif­fer­ence”.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

HELP­ING HANDS: Many lo­cals helped Kevin Rogers es­cape from the burn­ing car but he sadly died in hospi­tal this week.

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