ROADSIDE TRIBUTE: Emily Barnett's family left a heartbreaking tribute to her by the side of the Bruce Highway at the place where she lost her life on Friday.
ROADSIDE TRIBUTE: Emily Barnett's family left a heartbreaking tribute to her by the side of the Bruce Highway at the place where she lost her life on Friday.

Heartbroken family’s tribute to crash victim Emily Barnett

EMILY Barnett's family have made a heartbreaking journey 15km south of Rockhampton to visit the straight stretch of highway where their daughter inexplicably lost her life in a crash on Friday.

Her distraught Uncle, Leyland Barnett, was among the family members who laid a floral tribute at the Bruce Highway crash site over the weekend.

Emily Barnett tragically lost her life in a crash on the Bruce Highway on Friday afternoon.
Emily Barnett tragically lost her life in a crash on the Bruce Highway on Friday afternoon.

Well known in the Rockhampton community for his role as a driving instructor and his work as a road safety advocate, Mr Barnett said there were no brake marks at the crash scene.

He said it appeared that a Mitsubishi Triton had crossed the highway into the path of Emily's Toyota RAV4, leaving her no chance to react and brake in the 100km/hr zone near Midgee.

Speaking on behalf of his family, he gave a heartfelt tribute to his niece Emily Barnett.

"On Friday May 29, 2020 at 3pm, a beautiful 21 year old girl full of life was taken away from my brothers family, ripping a hole in their hearts, from a devastating head on collision," Mr Barnett said.

Emily Barnett had only recently celebrated her 21st birthday.
Emily Barnett had only recently celebrated her 21st birthday.

"Emily was a hard worker and knew how to save money, buying a car and house to secure a good future. She was always happy and enjoyed life to the fullest."

He said Emily only recently had a 21st birthday party where she enjoyed everyone's company and talked about her ambitions.

"She was the eldest in her family of 2 sisters and a brother that now are missing her shining light," he said.

Emily Barnett celebrating her 21st birthday with Bluey.
Emily Barnett celebrating her 21st birthday with Bluey.

"God has you now in his care and we all know that he will have another shining light to join in heaven."

Emily was an Alton Downs resident and a former South Rockhampton High School student.

She was a manager of retail store that had closed and was in the process of looking for a new job at the time of her death.

Leyland Barnett urges everyone to take care on and off the road.
Leyland Barnett urges everyone to take care on and off the road.

"It is tragic that a young life is lost through no fault, there is nothing that anyone could have done and it is always important to let your loved ones know every day, that you love them before getting in behind the wheel of a car as you never know what can happen," Mr Barnett said.

The tragedy was heightened given Mr Barnett had only just implored motorists through social media to drive safe and make it a "Fatality Free Friday" on morning before Emily's death.

Let's make it a Fatality Free Friday.

Posted by Leyland Barnett on Thursday, 28 May 2020

Initial police inquiries suggest a white Mitsubishi Triton was travelling north on the Bruce Highway when it collided with a Toyota RAV4 travelling south at the time.

The 56-year-old driver of the Triton was treated and prepared for transport by the RACQ Capricorn Rescue on-board (QAS) Critical Care Paramedic and flight doctor.

"The patient was intubated prior to departure and airlifted to Rockhampton Base Hospital in a critical condition with suspected extensive internal injuries and multiple fractures," an RACQ Capricorn Rescue spokesperson said.

"The passenger of the second vehicle (RAV4) was treated on scene by Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) paramedics and transported by road also in a critical condition with similar injuries."

A Queensland Health spokesperson confirmed the two crash victims were flown to Brisbane for further treatment.

Queensland Police said on Sunday that they remained in critical condition.

Ms Barnett's death was the second fatality in the Rockhampton region over the past week after a 65-year-old woman lost her life in a crash on the Bruce Highway near the Yeppoon Rd intersection at Parkhurst on Thursday.

TRAFFIC INCIDENT: The fatal crash at the intersection of Yaamba Rd and Yeppoon Rd forced peak hour traffic to be diverted through the Parkhurst Industrial estate, creating significant congestion throughout North Rockhampton on Thursday evening.
TRAFFIC INCIDENT: The fatal crash at the intersection of Yaamba Rd and Yeppoon Rd forced peak hour traffic to be diverted through the Parkhurst Industrial estate, creating significant congestion throughout North Rockhampton on Thursday evening.

Queensland Police were unable to provide any further updates on their forensic investigations into the causes of the two crashes.


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