Death shakes this small community
THE Blackall magpies will gather around tonight and raise a glass in memory of their good friend and former team mate Lee Shrimp.
The passing of the well-know local has shaken the small town of Blackall to its core, with news spreading that one of their own was no longer with them on Thursday.
Lee Shrimp died in a serious car accident on Thursday afternoon around 1.30pm.
The 39-year-old was driving a sedan west on the Capricorn Highway when a 4wd utility travelling south on Anakie - Sapphire Road collided with them.
Lee and his girlfriend, who was in the car with him, were both initially transported to the Emerald Hospital in a critical condition.
The 24-year-old male driver, a 24-year-old female passenger and a 30-year-old male passenger of the 4wd utility all received non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Emerald Hospital for treatment as well.
Tragically, Lee was later pronounced deceased at the Emerald Hospital as a result of his injuries.
Lee's 24-year-old girlfriend, who remained a critical condition late yesterday afternoon, received non-life threatening injuries and was flown to a Brisbane hospital for treatment.
Community members and leaders yesterday began exchanging stories and memories of Lee, as the loss rippled its way across the close-knit town.
Coach of the Blackall Magpies Hector Heumiller said he was only talking to Lee a couple of weeks ago about next year's football season.
"He only spoke to me two weeks ago and said next year was going to be his last year for A grade," Hector said.
"He said he wanted to give it his fullest, hardest and then this happened.
"He was 39, it's unreal for a guy to play A-grade that long."
Hector said the the town would all be meeting up tonight to celebrate his life and remember a great friend.
"It was a big shock to the club and community, I just hope that his partner is okay."
Hector said the club would form a guard of honour when it came time for the funeral.
Other tributes flowed for Lee, with close friend Brandi Conroy leaving some warm words for her mate.
"God has taken you from the earth way too soon. But as everyone says, things always happen for a reason," she said.
"Words can't explain the pain everyone is going through at this very hard time.
"You were loved by many and will be truly missed, you are an amazing friend, brother, uncle and son, you always found a way to put a smile on people's faces and it still doesn't feel real that you are gone.
"We will never forget you Lee, you were one in a million. Rest in paradise cowboy."
The local pub in Blackall was also shocked by the sudden loss.
One of the establishment's workers said "the whole town was in mourning".
Investigations into the cause of the crash are still continuing.