GABRIELLE Norton awoke to a blazing inferno burning one kilometre away from her house in Ambrose on Saturday morning.
She said she heard an almighty impact that stirred her from her sleep.
"I didn't realise until a fair while later that it had been an accident on the Bruce," she said.
"But I saw the flames jumping up into the sky. I just thought someone was letting off fireworks again."
The sound Ms Norton had awoken to was the impact of a two-and-a-half tonne steel pipe ploughing through the front windscreen of a BMW sedan.
After falling off the back of a southbound truck, the pipe instantaneously cut short the lives of a travelling couple heading in the opposite direction.
Their identities remain unknown after the car caught fire, leaving nothing more than a trail of devastation just north of Hut Creek on the Bruce Hwy.
New South Wales police are conducting investigations after it was suggested the vehicle had interstate number plates.
Traffic on the Bruce Highway was disrupted for nine hours on Saturday morning as emergency services cleared the scene of the horrific two-vehicle accident.
Firefighters, SES volunteers, ambulance crews and police remained on scene for the duration of the morning.
An ambulance spokesman said he had not witnessed such a scene of carnage in the Gladstone region before.
"Essentially, the car has been split in two," he said.
"The occupants of the vehicle did not stand a chance. They would have been killed instantly."
Although debris was cleared early morning, the devastation of the fire caused dramatic damage to the asphalt, with a Rockhampton road technician called to assess the scene.
Traffic diversions were in place on Gentle Annie Rd and Darts Creek Rd.
Motorists faced wait times of up to two hours, with the Bruce Hwy reopened just after noon on Saturday.
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