TRAGEDY: Andrew Cole, who was killed in a car crash on the way to Gayndah in March, coached the Murgon Mustangs Junior Rugby League under-14 team.
TRAGEDY: Andrew Cole, who was killed in a car crash on the way to Gayndah in March, coached the Murgon Mustangs Junior Rugby League under-14 team. Contributed

Doting dad missed after tragic head-on collision

A CRASH on the way to a rugby league game has left three children without the chance to share their future with their dad.

Andrew Cole tragically died in a car crash along the Burnett Highway, near the Murgon Gayndah Rd, on Saturday, March 17, 2018.

The 34-year-old's mother-in-law Pam Lurton said the whole family felt Mr Cole's absence.

"The normal things, taking Bailey to footy practice and just him being their dad and Melissa's husband," Ms Lurton said.

The Murgon Mustangs rugby league coach was driving his then-12-year-old son to the under-14 game in Gayndah when they were involved in the high-speed crash sometime before 11.45am.

Mr Cole died at the scene and son Bailey was airlifted to Lady Cilento Children's Hospital with multiple fractures, including to his legs and skull), a ruptured spleen and substantial lung damage.

Bailey, now 13, is slowly recovering from the crash and recently had the plates taken out of his legs.

"He won't talk about the accident," Ms Lurton said.

Bailey would connect with his father over rugby league but his injuries mean he is unlikely to play again.

"If it had been only one break but his leg was broken in three places, which is a bit of a concern," Ms Lurton said.

Mr Cole's daughter, 10-year-old Hollee, is coping with missing her father in a different way.

"She's finding it fairly hard, she walks around with her father's photo in her bag at school," Ms Lurton said.

"We were concentrating on Bailey, we didn't concentrate enough on Hollee."

Mr Cole's youngest child, five-year-old Tyson, found it hard to understand the situation and is adjusting to life without his father.

His wife, Melissa Lurton, who battles Huntington's disease, is still grieving for her husband.

The family was supported by the Murgon Mustangs rugby league club, which provided counselling for Mr Cole's under-14 players after the tragedy, as well as raising money for the family.

"There's quite a few other people who helped us out too," she said.

Ms Lurton said you never forgot your loved ones involved in these horrific crashes.

"When it happens to you, you become a strong person and you deal with the leftovers," she said.

"You have to go from day to day and hopefully it gets easier."

South Burnett

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