Tragic crash shocks Bluff

THE small township of Bluff has been devastated by the tragic death of nine-year-old Emmi Bielenberg.

Emmi, described by her grandfather as a typical bush kid, died driving home from the bus stop on her parents' property last Friday afternoon, about 180km west of Rockhampton.

This is the second tragedy the township has suffered in less than 12 months: on November 28 more than 100 residents witnessed an ultralight plane crash in which father and son, Greg and Darren McGrath, died.

Emmi's grandfather, Colin Bielenberg, said Emmi used to drive the family's old ute ? no doors or top ? through the property to Haul Road ? where coal is hauled from the mine to the railway ? to catch the bus.

"It's five or six kilometres from Haul Road to home.''

That Friday Emmi had been following her mother, Julie, back home in the ute. When her mother arrived back at the house Emmi was not behind her.

When Emmi failed to return home her mum and dad, Cy, backtracked looking for her.

"They found she had hit this power pole and she was outside the car,'' Colin said.

Emmi was unconscious when her parents arrived and did not regain consciousness. An ambulance took her to Blackwater Hospital where she died.

"She was doing what farm kids do,'' Colin said. "She learnt to drive at an early age. She controlled horses just as well as that car and pig dogs ? she'd put them in their place and tell them what to do.''

The last time Colin saw his grand-daughter was at Easter when they went kangaroo shooting.

"We had shot three roos. She hops out of the truck and grabs a butcher's knife and just cuts the tails off those roos.''

Emmi was the second youngest of five daughters. No date has been set for a funeral service..



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