ONE man is dead and another in hospital following a head-on collision between a semi-trailer and a four-wheel drive ute on the Bruce Highway between Miriam Vale and Benaraby, near Gladstone, on Wednesday afternoon.
Motorists who saw the crash happen were left with a horrifying scene after the driver of the four-wheel drive was thrown from the vehicle into the middle of the highway.
One motorist, who police described as brave, stopped to extinguish smoke that was coming from the same vehicle.
The man killed was from Booval, Ipswich. He was aged 26.
One police crew had already been heading to the area as part of increased activity on the Bruce Hwy for Road Safety Week, with extra signs warning motorists of the dangers.
Tannum Sands police have advised motorists to expect some delays either later on Thursday or at some point in the next few days, because heavy machinery will be required to retrieve the truck involved.
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Sergeant John Meiers, from the Tannum Sands Police Station, said the heavy vehicle was travelling south 2km past the old Tannum Sands Road at around 5.30pm, while the four-wheel drive was travelling north along the highway.
"The four-wheel drive unexpectedly veered into the path of the semi," he said, adding that the vehicle had been extensively damaged.
The semi-trailer was forced off the road with impact and came to rest in a ditch.
The male driver was taken to Gladstone Base Hospital with some injuries.
Sgt Meiers said the driver of the four-wheel drive was killed on impact.
The Bruce Hwy was closed in both directions from 5.45pm, with motorists advised to avoid the area.
Light vehicles already in the area were detoured via Blackman's Gap Road between Calliope and Many Peaks, while trucks and heavy vehicles were advised to detour through Gin Gin or Monto towards Biloela, before either heading to Gladstone or north from Biloela.
The highway re-opened around 11.30pm.
Timeline of events
UPDATE 7.18PM: The male driver of a truck involved in a two-vehicle fatal accident on the Bruce Hwy near Tannum Sands has been taken to Gladstone Base Hospital by the Queensland Ambulance Service.
The status of the truck driver is unknown, but it is believed he has no known major injuries.
The male driver of the other vehicle, which was a 4WD, tragically died as a result of the accident.
It is believed the 4WD was travelling north and the semi-trailer was driving south at the time of the accident.
UPDATE 6.47PM: Police are advising light vehicles heading south to detour via Blackmans Gap Rd towards Calliope and Many Peaks following a fatal car crash on the Bruce Hwy near Tannum Sands.
Trucks and heavy vehicles are advised to detour through Gin Gin or Monto towards Biloela, before either heading towards Gladstone or north from Biloela.
UPDATE 6.35PM: One person has died in an accident on the Bruce Highway south of Tannum Sands.
The two-vehicle crash happened around 5.30pm between Miriam Vale and Benaraby.
Bruce Highway traffic leaving Tannum Sands is at a standstill.
UPDATE 6.27PM: The Bruce Highway is closed following a two-vehicle traffic crash south of Tannum Sands.
Initial information indicates a truck collided with another vehicle on the highway about one kilometre south of Tannum Sands Rd at about 5.30pm.
Crews are on scene and it is believed at least one person has sustained life-threatening injuries.
The highway is closed in both directions and motorists are advised to avoid the area and seek an alternate route.
UPDATE 6.17PM: Traffic is blocked from the Tannum Sands bypass after a fatal car crash occurred south of Tannum Sands Rd.
It is believed people have been asked to turn around due to lengthy delays.
BREAKING 5.53PM: The Bruce Hwy is closed in both directions near Tannum Sands due to serious traffic crash.
It is believed there has been a fatality.
The crash is about 1km south of Tannum Sands Rd.
Queensland Police Service said for drivers to expect lengthy delays.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area and delay travel plans if possible.
Traffic is being diverted at Miriam Vale and Calliope Crossroads.