GONE TOO SOON: Cassie, 13, died after she was hit by a car when crossing the road on the Burnett Highway in September 1999.
GONE TOO SOON: Cassie, 13, died after she was hit by a car when crossing the road on the Burnett Highway in September 1999. Contributed

'Life's too short': Woman's plea after sister killed

SLOW down, have more patience and turn off your phone because life is short.

This is the message Melissa Brookes has for South Burnett drivers following the recent deaths on the region's roads.

On Friday Mrs Brookes was placing flowers on the Burnett Highway where her sister Cassie, 13, died in September 1999.

Within an hour of Mrs Brookes laying the flowers, a 21 year-old Kingaroy man died on the highway within kilometres of where Cassie died.

Cassie was walking along the highway with friends when she was hit by a Toyota Hilux 4WD and later died at Brisbane's Royal Children's Hospital.

"It is something that could have been so easily changed if people slow down and look ahead more," Mrs Brookes said.

"Life is too short not to slow down. It never goes away. The pain never goes away."

Following Cassie's death, a pathway was built underneath the highway to make it safer to cross but Mrs Brookes said it did not bring Cassie back.

Her family are thankful to have a cross at the place where Cassie was killed and they lost a part of their family forever.
Her family are thankful to have a cross at the place where Cassie was killed and they lost a part of their family forever. Contributed

As her kids, aged 17 and 20, step into the drivers seat for the first time Mrs Brookes urges them to be aware of their surroundings and drive safely.

"What I say to my kids is slow down and look at what's in front of you," she said.

"Hug your kids and make sure when they do drive they are safe doing it."

Mrs Brookes said with the distraction of mobile phones and nowhere to pull over on rural roads, drivers need to understand the danger of simply taking a call.

"They don't realise it is not that important, turn it off," she said.

Today, June 10 is Cassie's birthday, she would have been 33.

Each year Mrs Brookes remembers the happy times on this day and eats lots of chocolate in memory of Cassie.

"Slow down and have a bit more patience. Life is too short. Turn your phone off," Mrs Brookes said.

South Burnett


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