News

VIDEO: Police to continue search for body of missing man

TOUGH TASK: A swift water rescue team (including inset) search a stolen LandCruiser ute found in Scrubby Creek.
TOUGH TASK: A swift water rescue team (including inset) search a stolen LandCruiser ute found in Scrubby Creek. Allan Reinikka Rokaswiftwa

8.55am: POLICE have confirmed the search continues this morning for the man - or the body of the man - who stole a vehicle and drove it into floodwaters on the weekend.

The Toyota Landcruiser ute was stolen on Friday and discovered submerged in floodwaters off Fairy Bower Rd on Saturday morning.

5am: POLICE are still searching for the man - or the body of the man - who stole a vehicle and drove it into floodwaters in Scrubby Creek on Friday morning.

Officers yesterday were on the scene and waiting for the creek levels to come down before they could continue searching for the unknown driver of the car.

The Toyota LandCruiser ute was discovered on Saturday morning submerged in floodwaters off Fairy Bower Rd, following heavy rain in the area on Thursday.

QFES' Swift Water Rescue Team were deployed to the area where a search of the creek and the vehicle failed to locate anyone.

 

However, police are looking into whether the man's body may have washed away in floodwaters.

Witness Rick Ousten, who was one of people to call Triple-0, was there on Saturday as emergency services worked to retrieve the car.

He was driving past on his way to Gracemere around 10.40am Saturday when he noticed the top corner of the roll bar sticking out of the water.

He also happens to be friends with the owners of the stolen ute, and said the vehicle was their pride and joy.

"Whoever it is, if they're alive they're lucky to be alive," he said of the driver.

The rural fire fighter also said in his time he has pulled a number of cars from the same creek.

"It runs really fast, it doesn't have to be real deep," he said.

District Duty Officer Senior Sergeant Max Bennett on Saturday said they did not believe the driver managed to get out of the vehicle.

"At this point in time we're assuming the occupant did not get out of the vehicle. We will be conducting further searches down the creek and along this bridge," he said.

The car was stolen around 4am Friday, and police believe the vehicle entered flood waters not long after.

"The owner of the vehicle saw the vehicle being stolen and saw it heading towards this creek," Snr Sgt Bennett said. "He has followed the vehicle but pulled right back because the vehicle was travelling at speed.

"The assumption at this stage is that it (the crash) occurred then."

Local man Rodney Rose, who lives beside Scrubby Creek, had no idea what had happened until police and fire crews arrived.

He said they'd received around six inches (152mm) of rain on Thursday, with a metre of water flowing over the crossing.

He estimated around four cars have been swept off the same bridge since 2010.

Police are also appealing for the man's accomplice to come forward.

"From our inquiries it appears another stolen vehicle from Yeppoon might have been involved in this incident but turned off prior to the creek," Snr Sgt Bennett said.

The Forensic Crash Unit and Criminal Investigation Branch are continuing investigations.

Police are appealing for the man, if he did escape, to come forward so they know he is safe.

Topics:  editors picks rockhampton police storm-prep wildweather



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