IN A heartbreaking turn of events, the Ralphs family from Moura has been left devastated after tragedy struck two family members in less than a year.
On August 29 last year, long-serving Queensland cricket administrator Gordon Ralphs, 72, died when his Australia Post van crashed into a grader at roadworks on Baralaba-Theodore Rd.
On Monday, his widow Daphne Ralphs, 67, crashed her Australia Post van on the Baralaba-Woorabinda Rd and was airlifted to the intensive care unit of Rockhampton Hospital in a critical condition.
Daphne had taken over Gordon's Australian Post delivery driver role following his death.
According to an Australia Post spokesperson, Daphne's condition has improved from critical to serious.
A Queensland Police spokesperson said crews were called to the crash at Alberta, 2.6km west of the Coomo Rd intersection, at 11.30am on Monday.
"The van left the road and collided with a tree and the driver was entrapped," the spokesperson said.
"Queensland Ambulance officers treated her at the scene and she was then airlifted to Rockhampton Hospital."
An RACQ Capricorn Rescue spokesperson said crews landed at the scene just after 1.30pm and the on board doctor and intensive care paramedic treated Daphne on scene in preparation for the flight to Rockhampton.
"She was airlifted in a critical condition with fractures to her left ankle, left knee and left leg and suspected multiple impact injuries to her chest, shoulder and neck," the spokesperson said.
An Australia Post spokesperson said alternative arrangements for the mail run had been put in place to enable Daphne's family of four children, their partners and her grandchildren to be by her side.
"Regretfully, Australia Post can confirm that one of our mail contractors was involved in a motor vehicle accident yesterday outside of Baralaba," the spokesperson said.
"The contractor was airlifted to Rockhampton Hospital where she is in a serious condition with non-life threatening injuries. Our thoughts and best wishes are with the family during this difficult time."
Close friend of Daphne's, Maureen Clancy, told The Bulletin that it was a tough situation to take in and that her children were "holding up".
"This isn't something this community wants to endure, experiencing the loss of two prominent citizens; but Daphne is a strong lady and that's one thing in her favour," Maureen said.