FACES OF TRAGEDY: South Burnett road deaths of 2020
As Burnett residents gear up to visit family and friends for the Christmas holidays, police are urging drivers to take care on the populated roads.
According to data from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, 2020 has seen 40 people lose their lives to road accidents on south east Queensland roads (up till December 13) - a shocking 150% increase from 2019.
“I don’t want Christmas to be remembered for someone’s loved one dying from a traffic crash,” Blackbutt police acting officer in charge Jessie Wellen said.
“Especially if the crash involved the fatal five – drink/drug driving, fatigue, speeding not paying attention and mobile phones.”
“The town gets so busy over the holidays with a lot of tourists, so it’s so important for everyone to stick to the 50km speed limit as there are a lot of pedestrians crossing the road through town.”
“After the year that we have had with COVID-19, I want everyone to spend quality time together with their loved ones and for everyone to arrive at their intended destinations safely.”
Here are the crashes that shocked the Burnett region in 2020.
A Beloved Kingaroy optometrist Malcolm Lee See died after his car collided with a tree along the D'Aguilar Hwy on June 30, only a few weeks before his 69th birthday.
Malcolm’s son Wayne remembered his dad as someone who relished the opportunity to help others.
“Optometry was so special to him, and he really tried to help his community,” he said.
“My dad saw it as helping people, and treated it as a true service to the area. He never thought of the money.”
Steve Hankin was pronounced dead at Kingaroy Hospital after being transported from a crash site at Taabinga on Sunday, May 3.
Mr Hankin was travelling south on Boonenne Ellesmere Rd towards Boonenne Rd, when he collided with the shoulder of the road, causing the quad bike to crash into the embankment.
Following his tragic death, there was an outpouring of support on social media for the family.
One woman was tragically killed and another hospitalised in a head-on crash at Bakers Creek in July.
The woman had been attempting to overtake while driving along the D’Aguilar Highway, when she lost control of her vehicle and swerved into oncoming traffic.
Ambulances and police were called to a serious rollover on the Burnett Highway/Henry St in Nanango in September, which claimed the life of an elderly woman.
Paramedics treated a woman at the scene for critical injuries, but tragically, the driver, a 72-year-old Glan Devon woman, was declared deceased at the scene.
A central Queensland man died after crashing into a tree in the North Burnett Region in May.
Early investigations found that a Holden Commodore sedan was travelling south on the Burnett Highway in O‘Bil Bil, north of Mundubbera, when it reportedly veered off the road and collided into a tree at about 1.35pm.
The driver, a 35-year-old Biloela man, was the only occupant of the car and died at the scene.
A man was killed in a head-on collision on the Burnett Highway, south of Ban Ban Springs.
Wide Bay forensic crash unit’s Senior Constable Lee Chamberlain said he was called to the crash on April 12, 2020.
“It appears that the truck was travelling towards Goomeri on the Burnett Highway and the sedan was heading towards Gayndah,” he said.
The 23-year-old male driver and sole occupant of the sedan was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
The truck driver, a 63-year-old man, was treated for facial injuries.
A Man tragically died following a horror crash on the Burnett Highway at Goomeri in September.
Initial investigations indicate an SUV was travelling northbound on the Burnett Highway when the vehicle left the roadway and hit a tree.
The driver, a 30-year-old Ipswich man, died at the scene. The three children travelling in the vehicle - a school age boy, preschool age boy, and baby - were taken to hospital in serious but stable conditions.
A man tragically died when his vehicle crashed through the John Peterson Bridge and into a water hole below at Mundubbera in September.
The horrific scene was not discovered until days later.
The usually picturesque Bunya Highway became a crime scene in March as authorities rushed to a single-vehicle crash five minutes southwest of Murgon, just 200m from the Ficks Crossing access road.
An elderly man and woman died at the scene early on Sunday afternoon after a white sedan crashed into a tree on the side of the highway.
Police released details on a tragic single-vehicle rollover on the D’Aguilar Highway in November, that claimed the life of a young Kilcoy man.
Preliminary investigations indicated a Hyundai station wagon was travelling west along the D’Aguilar Highway. The vehicle left the roadway between Kilcoy and Brisbane Valley Highway and rolled down an embankment.
A 20-year-old Mount Kilcoy man was assessed with critical injuries, however was declared deceased at the scene.
A Man died following a serious traffic crash at Wyalla, near Schumacher Gap Road, in October.
According to a QPS Spokesman, the man suffered a medical episode while driving, before rolling down an embankment on the Burnett Highway.
Police labelled the fatality a “sudden death”.
A Wattle Camp man passed away in hospital in February after being involved in a traffic crash a week earlier.
The 85-year-old man crashed into a sedan at the intersection of the D’Aguilar Highway and Brisbane Valley Highway.
The Wattle Camp man was injured and transported to hospital.
The occupants of the sedan, a 46-year-old female driver and her 54-year-old male passenger were both from Kingaroy and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
A person died following a motorbike crash on Memerambi-Barkers Creed Rd in March.
Emergency services were called to the scene just before 4pm on March 17.
One patient was deemed critical and died at the scene, the other patient received minor injuries and was not transported to hospital.