At the scene of the tragic double fatality just outside Murgon along the Bunya Highway.
At the scene of the tragic double fatality just outside Murgon along the Bunya Highway.

TAKE CARE: Double fatality brings road toll to three

WARNING: Some of these images may be disturbing for some readers. If you or anyone you know is struggling, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

THE usually picturesque Bunya Highway became a crime scene yesterday afternoon as authorities rushed to a single-vehicle crash five minutes southwest of Murgon, just 200m from the Ficks Crossing access road.

At the scene of the tragic double fatality just outside Murgon along the Bunya Highway.
At the scene of the tragic double fatality just outside Murgon along the Bunya Highway.

An elderly man and woman died at the scene early on Sunday afternoon after a white sedan crashed into a tree on the side of the highway.

At the scene of the tragic double fatality just outside Murgon along the Bunya Highway.
At the scene of the tragic double fatality just outside Murgon along the Bunya Highway.

Wondai police Sergeant Brad Fewtell confirmed the crash occurred at noon on Sunday. .

“At 12pm today there was a single-vehicle crash along the Bunya Highway near Murgon,” Sgt Fewtell said.

“As a result, the two occupants, a male and female, have been pronounced deceased at the scene.”

At the scene of the double fatality on the Bunya Highway near Murgon on Sunday afternoon.
At the scene of the double fatality on the Bunya Highway near Murgon on Sunday afternoon.

Queensland Police Service revealed the driver of the vehicle, an 81-year-old Wondai man, and the passenger of the car, a 76-year-old Wondai woman, were treated at the scene but were pronounced dead a short time later.

“Police are appealing for anyone who may have dashcam footage of a white Toyota Aurion sedan bearing Queensland registration 084 WNW travelling along the Bunya Highway to contact police,” a QPS spokesman said.

At the scene of the Bunya Highway double fatality on Sunday afternoon.
At the scene of the Bunya Highway double fatality on Sunday afternoon.

Traffic between Murgon and Wondai was diverted for more than three hours as the Bunya Highway was cut off in both directions while authorities carried out initial investigations.

The forensic crash unit from Toowoomba will be in charge of continuing the investigation, which could take several weeks to months to finalise.

At the scene of the fatal traffic crash at Wattlecamp on Tuesday afternoon.
At the scene of the fatal traffic crash at Wattlecamp on Tuesday afternoon.

Sunday’s double fatality brings the South Burnett’s 2020 road toll to three, after a man in his 70s died in a motorbike accident on Memerambi Barker’s Creek Road in Wattle Camp last Tuesday afternoon.

Two police officers at the scene of the South Burnett's first fatal road incident for 2020. The Forensic Traffic Unit have launched an investigation into a fatal traffic crash involving two motorbikes in the South Burnett this week.
Two police officers at the scene of the South Burnett's first fatal road incident for 2020. The Forensic Traffic Unit have launched an investigation into a fatal traffic crash involving two motorbikes in the South Burnett this week.

The South Burnett is no stranger to harrowing traffic incidents.

In 2019, 55 people died on southern Queensland roads, from Kingaroy through to Charleville and Gatton to Goondiwindi.

Senior Sergeant David Tierney from the Kingaroy Police Station said 11 of the 55 lost their lives on roads in the South Burnett in 2019.

“Unfortunately in the South Burnett we had four persons die in fatal traffic crashes,” Snr Sgt Tierney said.

“Seven others died on our roads in vehicles, however, under National Guidelines they aren’t counted on the official road toll as their death was due to circumstances not deemed to be traffic-related causal issues.

“So we had four fatal crashes across the South Burnett last year compared to three the year before.”

The Times would like to urge readers to take care when driving by:

Practising safe travelling distances

In most cases, a safe following distance is much longer than a car length.

The Queensland Government now recommends you drive at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front during ideal conditions.

Add one second extra for each three metre of trailer length – when driving a vehicle towing a trailer or caravan.

Remember to also double your following distance in poor conditions and increase following distances if you’re driving a heavy vehicle.

Keep your speeds down

Nothing is worth breaking the speed limit and endangering people’s lives for.

We’re all going to get where we’re going one way or another.

For a fit and alert driver, in good driving conditions, at 60km/h it takes about three quarters of a second or 12 metres of travel for you to realise that you have to brake and at least another 20 metres to stop.

At higher speeds, the distance will be even greater.

Put the devices down

On average 25 people are killed and 1235 seriously injured each year on Queensland roads as a result of crashes where driver distraction played a part.

From February 1 2020, the penalties for illegally using a mobile phone while driving are a $1000 fine and 4 demerit points.

The fine and demerit points apply to all drivers who use their phone illegally including car, truck drivers and motorcycle riders.

Learner drivers will also lose their licence after just one mobile phone offence. P-platers can also lose their licence for a single offence.

It is illegal to hold your phone in your hand while driving.

This includes to text, talk, call or perform any other function, even when you’re stopped at traffic lights.

If you have an open or P2 licence you can use a phone hands-free, for example, in a cradle attached to the vehicle.

However, you must have proper control of your vehicle and drive with due care and attention at all times.

It is illegal for learner and P1 drivers under 25 years of age to use a phone in any way while driving.

This includes using maps, Bluetooth and hands-free.

Passengers of these drivers also cannot use phones on loudspeaker.

South Burnett

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