FALALITY RISE: Another life has been lost on North Burnett's highways with Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington calling for answers.
FALALITY RISE: Another life has been lost on North Burnett's highways with Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington calling for answers.

Tragedy on Burnett's highways

THE tragic death of a 23-year-old man has added to the mounting toll on a notorious stretch of road.

Bundaberg man Rhys Latham died when his 4WD collided with a truck on the Burnett Highway near Tansey on Monday afternoon.

He was the fifth person to die on the 100km stretch of road between Ban Ban Springs and Murgon, incorporating the Bunya and Burnett Highways, since June 2017.

The other two people involved in the crash were taken to Murgon Hospital, both in a stable condition.

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington said she was shocked to hear of another fatality on our roads.

"It is incredibly sad to hear of yet another fatality on the Burnett Highway and my thoughts are with the young man's family," Mrs Frecklington said.

"I'm calling on the Minister for Main Roads to look at what is happening on the Burnett Highway and provide some serious funding injections for upgrades."

Mrs Frecklington said she hoped come Budget time, funding would be allocated to upgrade the highways.

"I will be very disappointed if funding is not allocated in the upcoming State Budget for the Burnett Highway, and other major state road networks like the Bunya Highway and D'Aguilar," she said.

Sergeant at the Goomeri Police Dave Gillies said there had been a few fatalities this year and that something needed to be done.

"I wouldn't say the highways are dangerous, you've got trucks using the highways but there needs to be an improvement," Sgt Gillies said.

Horror stretch

It was only in March this year when well-respected rugby league coach, Andrew Cole, was killed on the Burnett Highway near Booubyjan.

Mr Cole, 34, was travelling on the Burnett Highway on Saturday, March 17, when he was killed in a high speed head-on collision. His 12-year-old son Bailey Cole was left fighting for his life at the Brisbane hospital.

Earlier this year two members of a family were killed on the Bunya Highway after a prime mover towing a tri-axle trailer and a dual cab Nissan Navara utility collided head on in January.

The fatality occurred on the Bunya Highway near the Kilcoy-Murgon Road intersection.

Another fatality near Ban Ban Springs on the Burnett Highway involved a man in his 20s who collided head-on with a semi-trailer in June 2017.

What can be done?

A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said the department remained committed to improving road safety.

"Every death or serious injury on the road is one too many," the spokesperson said.

"Police are undertaking an investigation into the tragic crash on the Burnett Highway, north of Tansey, and we will work with them.

 "It is standard procedure to also undertake an independent departmental investigation following a fatality on the state-controlled road network."

The spokesperson said during investigations, they would consider factors such as prevailing weather, road design and visibility, while police will look at road factors along with broader issues including driver behaviour.

"If our investigation establishes any road factors were involved, we will act to address these," they said.  


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