RYAN Tarver was on his way to see his family after three weeks in Gladstone but all of that could have been taken from him when a 40-year-old man driving a Hilux ploughed into the back of his Mazda 3 on Blain Dr in Gladstone yesterday morning.
Mr Tarver's defensive driving skills kicked in while the other driver steered his Toyota off the road, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
The Mazda 3 was crumpled; the boot of the car left pressing up against the driver's seat.
Mr Tarver said he narrowly avoided two electrical poles before he managed to stop his car but knew he was headed towards another.
He managed to avoid it though, pulling up a couple of hundred metres from where he had been smashed into.
He kicked open his door, climbed out, and called his wife, then his mother.
The rear end of his Mazda was unrecognisable.
"If my kids were in the back seat they would be dead," Mr Tarver said.
"It was like a nightmare."
Before the crash Mr Tarver was sitting behind a semi-trailer and three other cars on Blain Dr where, on Tuesday, police had caught seven people speeding in one hour.
The top speed recorded that day was 81kmh.
Yesterday, Ryan said he saw the bull bar of the Hilux coming at him in his rear-vision mirror. "We were only going about 55kmh (on the 60kmh road)," he said.
Witness Cameron Brady saw the Toyota "fly" past him before it smashed into the back of Mr Tarver's car.
"I thought it (Mazda 3) was a Commodore and then it looked like a Barina," he said.
Gladstone police said speed could have been a factor in the crash; they ruled out drugs and alcohol.
Both men were taken to hospital yesterday; Mr Tarver released with a bruise to the shoulder while the other man had shoulder pain.