ROAD HORROR: Seven dead in three days within 140km radius
SOUTH-WEST Queensland is reeling in shock after the loss of seven lives including four children under 10, who have died in three separate crashes within a 140 kilometre radius of each other this week.
Western Downs police are urging local drivers to consider these tragedies when getting behind the wheel ahead of this week's Fatality Free Friday, a national event to promote safer driving on Australian roads.
A 78-year-old Glenmorgan man died in hospital on Tuesday after a single vehicle traffic crash at 10:30am when he swerved to avoid hitting a kangaroo.
The driver, and sole occupant of the vehicle, was was taken to Surat Hospital before being airlifted to the Toowoomba Hospital where he died Tuesday evening.
Police are also investigating an horrific traffic crash which occurred outside of Kumbia, thirty kilometres southwest of Kingaroy, on Monday evening which has tragically claimed the lives of a mother and her four children.
Mother Charmaine Harris McLeod, 35, from Eli Waters on the Fraser Coast, and her children Aaleyn, 6, Matilda, 5, Wyatt, 4, and Zaidok, 2, were killed when the woman attempted to overtake a vehicle and slammed into an oncoming truck on the Bunya Highway, near Kumbia, on Monday night.
James McLeod, the father of the children, shared his grief in a brief but heart- wrenching statement.
"I love them very much and will be surely missed with all my heart," he wrote.
"They were beautiful souls and loved by all those who knew them."
The small community of Kumbia have been left reeling after yet another life was lost on the road near the town on Wednesday after a truck and utility collided on Reedy Creek Rd.
The male driver of the ute died at the scene as a result of the impact.
Sergeant Sean Donaghy wants Western Downs drivers to take these recent tragedies into consideration coming into Fatality Free Friday.
"For every murder we have in Queensland, eight people die on the roads," Sgt Donaghy said.
"More people get injured from road crashes than assaults per year ... It's not just the deceased we've got to deal with, it's the injuries, brain damage, ongoing rehabilitation.
"The emergency service workers that go to these things, they've got to deal with the aftermath, especially with children that have been killed.
"They've got to deal with that as well."
With more than 1200 road deaths occurring on Australian roads every year, Fatality Free Friday's aim is to have one day of the year where no one loses their life as a result of a road tragedy.
"When we go to the crashes, we've just got a job to do. Then we can deal with all that stuff afterwards," Sgt Donaghy said.
"Traffic crashes aren't accidents. We don't regard them as accidents. Someone has basically made a mistake to cause the crash.
"There's always someone at fault. We don't call them accidents any more."
Sgt Donaghy said the fatal five - speeding, seat belts, alcohol and drugs, fatigue and inattention - are almost always the cause behind road fatalities.
He said when it comes to taking precautions on the road, remember the basics.
"Drive safely, plan where you're going, obey the speed limit and conditions of the road," he said.
Sgt Donaghy said "undue care" was the most common mistake people made on the road including use of mobile phones, talking to passengers and simply getting distracted.
He urges all drivers to think of the counter effects actions may have.
"It's like throwing a rock in a pool. There's always a ripple effect," Sgt Donaghy said.