Senior officer horrified by crash
THE impact of a horrific double truck smash near Emerald that claimed the life of a Sunshine Coast man was so severe the trucks finished 100m apart.
After a long night at the crash scene, Anakie's Sergeant Brad Cowell said yesterday it was one of the worst crashes he had witnessed in his 23 years in the service.
A 40-year-old semi-trailer driver died instantly when his road train and a cattle truck collided about 6.40pm on Thursday, on the Capricorn Highway, about 11km east of Anakie.
The 46-year-old driver of the cattle truck was taken to Emerald Hospital to be treated for his injuries.
The Anakie man, who was driving east, suffered severe shock, but was discharged from hospital later that night.
Police confirmed four cows from about 58 head of cattle had been put down after the smash which closed the highway for about 18 hours.
The impact of the crash shredded the cab of the semi-trailer that was travelling west from Emerald to Anakie and burst two of the four diesel tanks open.
Up to 1000 litres of diesel and debris were strewn over a half-kilometre stretch of the highway.
“It's one of the nastiest crashes I've seen in my 23 years,” Sergeant Cowell said.
The crash forensic team worked throughout the morning before the highway could be reopened about 11.30am yesterday.
Sergeant Cowell said it was still too early to determine the cause of the accident.
It was believed the trucks had collided head-on or been involved in a serious sideswipe.
Cameron Smith, a competitive barefoot water-skier, who was travelling from the Sunshine Coast to Longreach yesterday for the Queensland Barefoot Waterskiing titles, saw the trucks just after the crash.
“It was not pretty. Both trucks were in a pretty bad state,” he said.
More than 15 cars and several semi-trailers were waiting about 9am in the line just west of Emerald to get through on the Capricorn Highway.
Both trucks were taken to Emerald for mechanical inspections.