Children orphaned in horror highway crash
TWO children, including a toddler pulled from a car wreckage by brave bystanders, have been orphaned in a fiery double fatality south of Cardwell.
The 18-month-old boy is continuing to recover in Townsville Hospital following the Bruce Highway crash which took place just before 4pm yesterday.
His Bingil Bay parents, aged 34 and 37, were both pronounced dead at the scene after their car crashed head-on with a truck and both burst into flames.
The family was returning home from Townsville when the tragedy occurred.
It is understood the couple have another child, aged 7, who was at a friend's place at the time.
Police have returned to the scene of the incident at Conn Creek this morning and the Bruce Highway is currently down to one lane due to damage of the roadway.
Cairns police Forensic Crash Unit Sgt Scott Ezard said they were still working to identify the cause with the crash occurring on a straight section of road.
Initial investigations have suggested the family's northbound Subaru Forester crossed onto the wrong side of the road and collided with a B-double.
Sgt Ezard said the truck was fully loaded with seafood and had just left a nearby prawn farm on route to Brisbane.
The driver, along with an off-duty Cairns paramedic and Cairns man Peter Lynch have been credited for their "heroic" actions in the aftermath with Mr Lynch pulling the toddler from the car before it burst into flames.
Sgt Ezard said they were looking at a number of possible contributors to the crash including a medical condition, drugs and alcohol or fatigue.
"These are all questions we are still pondering," he said.
The highway was shut for more than 12 hours and reopened about 4.20am this morning.
Sgt Ezard said it would require ongoing repairs as the crash had taken out a guard rail and the bitumen was lifting due to the diesel and other spilt fluids.
He called for motorists to be patient with delays likely in the area over the coming days.