Crash victim mourned
By EVAN SCHWARTEN
RESIDENTS of the Central Queensland community of Bluff are banding together af- ter the town lost one of its much-loved residents.
Farmhand Matthew O'Bri- en, 26, was on his way home from work in the early hours of Friday when his four- wheel-drive utility rolled on the Yarrabee Mine Haul Road.
A Bluff resident, who asked not to be named, yesterday said the town was shocked by the tragedy, one of many to hit the town in the past year.
"It's been a tough 12 months.
"We were still getting over the last tragedy,'' she said.
In August nine-year-old Emmi Bielenberg died after driving into a power pole on her parents' property.
In November last year an ultralight plane crash took the lives of Greg and Darren McGrath.
But she said the town was rallying around Mr O'Brien's pregnant wife, Shona, and her three-year-old son.
"This is a really lovely community, everyone is there for each other,'' she said.
She said Mrs O'Brien was coping with the tragedy as well as could be expected.
"She's got a little boy she's got to be tough for and she's just found out she's pregnant.''
But she said Mr O'Brien, a popular rodeo rider, would be sorely missed.
"He was one of those fellas who just loved life and loved his family. "He was loved by every- body,'' she said.
"There were a lot of young kids in town who looked up to him.