Double fatal truck crash on Kennedy Highway near Davies Creek. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Double fatal truck crash on Kennedy Highway near Davies Creek. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

Police seek answers behind fatal head-on

ERRATIC driving before a horrific fatal head-on truck crash near Mareeba is being investigated by police.

The News Queensland understands investigators have received information to suggest a Blenners Transport heavy rigid truck travelling towards Cairns from Mareeba was seen driving unpredictably before the smash about 7.30am on Thursday.

Police are calling for anyone with dashcam footage or anyone who can assist in any way to contact Crime Stoppers or Cairns Forensic Crash Unit on 4030 7174.

The crash has been described as the Far North's worst in recent years.

A head-on truck crash has closed the Kennedy Highway near Tichum Creek between Mareeba and Kuranda. PHOTO: Serena Vine
A head-on truck crash has closed the Kennedy Highway near Tichum Creek between Mareeba and Kuranda. PHOTO: Serena Vine

 

"It will be a while before we have a clear picture as to what happened," said Cairns Forensic Crash Unit Sgt Scott Ezard.

"Families have now been informed of the situation and investigations are continuing into potential causes.

"I've only spoken to one of the families to date and they're looking for answers themselves as to why it happened."

Chris Kurz of Innisfail was one of the drivers who died in the crash involving a refrigerated semi-trailer and a heavy rigid truck about 10km east of Mareeba.

Chris Kurz of Innisfail is one of the truck drivers who tragically died in a horror crash on the Kennedy Highway near Mareeba on September 13. Source: Facebook
Chris Kurz of Innisfail is one of the truck drivers who tragically died in a horror crash on the Kennedy Highway near Mareeba on September 13. Source: Facebook

A regular at the Mena Creek Hotel, Mr Kurz has been described as "a happy gentleman".

Hotel manager Peter Beardsley said the bush pub was sombre as news of the crash filtered in.

"Everybody here certainly knew him, there's no doubt about that," he said. "Most of the time he'd come through for a couple on his way home.

"He was a large heavy-set man with a large belly and a very jovial disposition.

"He was like Santa Claus - he looked like Santa and acted like Santa."

Tributes have also flooded in through social media.

"Mena Creek lost a bloody good man, bless you my friend," Sue Baxter wrote.

"Very sad to lose him," Thresea Jankowski wrote.

Double fatal truck crash on Kennedy Highway near Davies Creek. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Double fatal truck crash on Kennedy Highway near Davies Creek. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

Blenners Transport director Les Blennerhassett said the company was mourning the loss of two close friends, described as "men of great integrity and spirit".

"First and foremost, our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the families of both men and to the communities of Mareeba, Cairns, Innisfail and Tully where they were well known and loved," he said.

"We will continue to provide our support to the ongoing investigation to find the cause of this accident."

Mr Blennerhassett thanked all of those who had offered their support.

"We ask that our deeply saddened and grieving team is allowed to mourn with privacy," he said.

"On behalf of the team, my wife Judy, our sons Roger and Ben, and myself, we would like to thank all for your thoughts at this time."



New online dashboard to provide vital information

New online dashboard to provide vital information

RegionWatch is an initiative of the Gladstone Regional Council.

'Further out of reach': Slump in new housing approvals

premium_icon 'Further out of reach': Slump in new housing approvals

Data from the ABS show a major downturn for the Gladstone region.

Apprentice Wage Subsidy tackles skills shortage

premium_icon Apprentice Wage Subsidy tackles skills shortage

GEA welcomes announcement of a trial apprentice wage subsidy.

Local Partners