AN early morning ride turned traumatic for a group of motorcyclists on Sunday when the lead rider and an oncoming four-wheel drive collided.
In what witnesses described as a "domino effect", another two bikes became involved in the crash.
Two helicopters airlifted badly injured patients to Bundaberg and Rockhampton.
One man was airlifted by chopper to Rockhampton Hospital with gross trauma and yesterday was in a serious but stable condition.
The RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter flew a Gladstone husband and wife with suspected fractures and other injuries to Bundaberg Hospital.
They both travelled in a serious but stable condition.
Police said the convoy of eight motorcyclists was rounding a bend on the Gladstone-Monto Rd between 10.30am and 11am when the crash happened.
It was about 17km from Calliope.
The female driver of the car and at least four riders were involved. Those not airlifted out were taken to hospitals in the area.
Emergency services were quick to respond, with police, ambulance and fire crews working to get patients to safety and clear the road.
Drivers who were stopped soon after the collision occurred assisted emergency workers by telling other members of the public in their vehicles to turn around as the road had been closed.
An ambulance transported a 48-year old man to Gladstone Hospital.
He was later discharged, while other patients at the crash site were transported privately.
The road was reopened at 4pm.
- with Kirsten Cunningham