Motorists jump to the aid of Bruce Hwy crash victims
A WITNESS has told how passersby passers-by ran to help a couple lying trapped in their crushed sedan after a head-on freakish, head-on highway collision that no one could have predicted.
A 59-year-old Gympie woman died at the scene of a horrific car the crash on the Bruce Hwy, near Pomona, on Wednesday night after the driver of the car she was in swerved to miss a tree brought down by a storm.
Motorists had reported the fallen tree in the northbound lane moments earlier and police were on their way, but it was too late - the sedan, driven by an elderly man, and a four-wheel drive had collided head-on with a four-wheel-drive.
The crash closed the Bruce Hwy in both directions for five hours.
Other motorists jumped out of their cars to help and raced over to assist where they could, ignoring the dangers of lightning strikes and the smoke coming from the sedan.
Jacqy Gregory said she was one of the first on the scene.
She avoided the collision by seconds and watched the aftermath in her rear-view mirror.
Her heart pounding, she realised then just how close she came to being involved in the horrific crash.
"When it started storming we were right in the thick of it," Ms Gregory said.
"We were going 80kmh, the wipers full bore and the visibility was poor.
"We couldn't see the tree in advance, which was blocking the northbound lanes until were until we were right there. That's when I saw the headlights coming towards me and I swerved and pulled over the over to the side of the road and looked in my rear-vision mirror to see the car that was coming towards me all smashed.
"No one had any time to react - it's just one of those unfortunate things."
Ms Gregory called triple zero and rushed over to help.
"The rain was torrential and there were bolts of lightning everywhere," she said.
"The man in the four-wheel drive was climbing out and a man was helping him, so I looked towards the sedan, where there was already another lady helping the female passenger.
"I turned to the man whose knee was badly damaged from the dash.
"I just talked to him. I had never been in an accident so I didn't know what to do. I put my hand on his shoulder and all I could do was pray for him.
"There were so many people there that night, good, decent compassionate people standing up, risking their own lives to do the right thing."
Yesterday afternoon, the elderly driver was in a stable but critical condition in Nambour General Hospital Intensive Care Unit.
The 40-year-old behind the wheel of the four-wheel driver suffered minor injuries. Forensic Crash Unit is continuing to investigate the incident.
Gympie Police Inspector Jon Lewis has urged caution on the region's roads especially with the extra school holiday traffic and so many bad storms.
He said Wednesday night's accident was terrible news for the region and people needed to aware of the potential dangers of driving during a storm.
"We need to be patient and plan our trips so we don't have to rush," Inspector Lewis said.
He suggested drivers turn on their headlights even during the day.