TWO PEOPLE have died at the scene of a multi-vehicle crash north of Townsville on Saturday night. Emergency services were called to a two-vehicle crash on the Bruce Highway in Black River at 8.40pm. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
TWO PEOPLE have died at the scene of a multi-vehicle crash north of Townsville on Saturday night. Emergency services were called to a two-vehicle crash on the Bruce Highway in Black River at 8.40pm. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Grieving family calls for Bruce Hwy upgrades

THE grieving parents of a man killed in a horror head-on smash are demanding urgent upgrades to the "dangerous" stretch of road and want the speed limit to be dropped in the interim.

Kurt Philpots, 20, and a 48-year-old woman died in a two-vehicle crash on the Bruce Highway on November 30.

Craig and Mary Philpots are adamant that had the half-a-kilometre section of road near the Black River Bridge been safer their son could be alive. They are calling for upgrades before another life is lost.

They say the site has experienced serious and fatal accidents over the years, exacerbated by a 100km/h speed limit.

In a petition to Queensland parliament, they label the stretch of road as a bottleneck with a high speed limit, "narrow width, heavy traffic a slight incline and a curve".

The Philpots are demanding an improved design and want the speed limit to be temporarily dropped to 80km/h until it's made safer.

The family have driven the stretch of road for the past 30 years.

"Every time you go past it you relive what you imagine happened on the night," Mrs Philpots said.

"Every time you go past you think about Kurt laying there upside down in the car.

"You just think about these horrible things. I just don't want someone else's family to go through it either … and if we can do anything to try and prevent it from happening again, just to save someone else's life, it (improvements) just needs to be fast tracked."

The grieving parents described Kurt as a safe and competent driver.

"It just goes to show no matter how good you are on the road, something can happen. If the road was probably designed better, and there was wider space, and everything like that our child would probably still be here," Mrs Philpots said.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said his heart went out to the family and that an investigation was underway into the crash.

"If the police investigation determines the road was a factor, I'll be tasking my department to investigate what changes need to happen to improve safety on this section of the Bruce (Highway) and to implement them," he said.

Mr Bailey said millions had been invested into North Queensland roads.

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto, who is sponsoring the petition, said the stretch was a "serious safety risk".

He said motorists travelling along this section of the Bruce Highway "should not have to put up with a substandard design", particularly when it came to driving at high speed.

The petition will run until April 27 and has already been signed by 701 people.



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