LOSS OF LIFE: The faces of some of the people who lost their lives on the South Burnett’s roads in 2019.
LOSS OF LIFE: The faces of some of the people who lost their lives on the South Burnett’s roads in 2019.

FACES OF TRAGEDY: South Burnett road deaths of 2019

AS MANY South Burnett residents travel to different destinations during the school holidays, drivers have been urged to take extra preaccutions on the populated roads.

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," he said.

He said whether the crashes were counted in the official statistics or not, the month of May, during which seven people died on South Burnett roads, not only shook the South Burnett community, but also the wider Wide Bay region, as headlines spread state and nationwide.

 

Here are some of the crashes that shocked the South Burnett in 2019.

Car explosion leaves one woman dead

A 30-year-old woman died on May 8 after her Mitsubishi Triton twin-cab ute left the road, hit trees and burst into flames on the Burnett Highway just before Goomeri.

The woman was deceased when emergency services arrived at the scene.

 

Fatal motorcycle accident in main street

A 43-year-old man died after he struck a Ford Ute on his motorbike at the pedestrian crossing at the corner of Haly St and Glendon St, Kingaroy.

He was taken to Kingaroy Hospital before being flown to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, where he died on May 24.

 

Paramedics attended to a male motorbike rider after a motorbike and vehicle crash at the Haly St and Glendon St intersection in Kingaroy on May 23.
Paramedics attended to a male motorbike rider after a motorbike and vehicle crash at the Haly St and Glendon St intersection in Kingaroy on May 23.

Horror head-on kills family of five

A mother and her four young children died in a fiery head-on crash on May 27 after a collision between a truck and a vehicle on the Bunya Highway in Kumbia.

The driver, a 35-year-old woman from Eli Waters in Hervey Bay, and three of her four children all aged under 10, were pronounced dead at the scene.

A six-year-old girl also travelling in the car was taken to Kingaroy Hospital in a critical condition before being flown to the Queensland Children's Hospital. She died while being airlifted.

Charmaine Harris McLeod and her four children were killed in a car crash near Kingaroy in May. Picture: Contributed
Charmaine Harris McLeod and her four children were killed in a car crash near Kingaroy in May. Picture: Contributed

Another head-on takes man's life

Two days later, a utility driver Joseph Guaresi, 63, was killed in a head-on collision with a truck on Wednesday, May 29.

The bricklayer was died in the crash which occurred on Reedy Creek Rd, near the intersection of Benair Rd at Benair.

'A good all around bloke': Joseph Guaresi with his daughter, Lilly. Picture: Lilly Guaresi
'A good all around bloke': Joseph Guaresi with his daughter, Lilly. Picture: Lilly Guaresi

Two young lives lost

A 24-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman died in a single-vehicle crash in Upper Yarraman on June 7 when the ute they were travelling in collided with a tree.

The male driver, Jarllin Anderson, and his female passenger, both from Kingaroy, were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Jarllin Anderson will be remembered as a
Jarllin Anderson will be remembered as a "happy, outgoing" young man. Picture: Contributed

Horror rollover leaves young woman dead

A young woman died after a horrific rollover in Durong that left four others hospitalised.

The driver reportedly swerved to avoid a kangaroo and the car then rolled and burst into flames, causing an area of roadside bushland to catch fire.

The 26-year-old Loganlea woman, who was a passenger in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wreaths were placed on behalf of the South Burnett Regional Council and Fraser Coast Regional Council, as well as Kawungan State School, at the site of the fatal crash which took the life of Charmaine McLeod and her four young children outside Kumbia on May 27.
Wreaths were placed on behalf of the South Burnett Regional Council and Fraser Coast Regional Council, as well as Kawungan State School, at the site of the fatal crash which took the life of Charmaine McLeod and her four young children outside Kumbia on May 27.

Despite the tragic deaths on the roads in 2019, Snr Sgt Tierney said it was heartening to see some momentum building in the community to take a stand against the senseless carnage on our roads.

"While the function at the Commercial Hotel (the Shoulder to Shoulder event in June, read more here) was organised by community to show support and appreciation of the emergency services, I think it also was an opportunity for the community as a whole to start healing from the loss of life on our roads that occurred during May," Snr Sgt Tierney said.

"It continues to be disappointing to see the idiots who have no respect for others, never mind themselves

"Obey the road rules, particularly the Fatal Five.

"While the police can't be everywhere, drive as if there was a police car behind you at all times.

"Show respect for the lives and safety of all other road users, your passengers and yourself and most importantly just get home safe."