Yeppoon man dies in tragic crash
POLICE say heavy rain contributed to a car crash which claimed the life of Yeppoon man Jason Rich, 21, early yesterday.
Mr Rich was an apprentice with Ergon Energy.
His death is the 55th on the central region’s roads this year.
The crash closed the road for about three hours and localised flooding on nearby alternate routes caused further headaches for motorists.
It took some drivers more than two hours to get from Yeppoon to Rockhampton after they were diverted back to Tanby Road and then further delayed by a second crash in which a car overturned along Emu Park Road at 8.50am.
Two patients with minor injuries were taken to Rockhampton Hospital from this accident.
Mr Rich was the sole occupant of the white Subaru sedan.
Police had not released his name yesterday, but tributes were flowing for Mr Rich from friends and colleagues.
His Facebook site was inundated with kind comments.
Many messages described him as a great person and someone who would be dearly missed.
The central region’s top traffic officer, Acting Inspector Rebecca Martin, said initial investigations showed the wet conditions had played a part.
“It was very heavy rain at the time and there were sheets of water across the road,” Acting Inspector Martin said.
“It appears as he negotiated a left-hand bend he has lost control of the vehicle and slid into the tree.”
She urged motorists to slow down and drive to the condition of the road.
Police will conduct a full safety review following the fatality.
The death follows that of a Brisbane man, 33, south of Agnes Water on Tuesday.
It takes the region’s total to 55, 22 more than in 2008.
“After each fatality we liaise with all the relevant stakeholders, such as Main Roads, to see how we can make things safer,” Acting Inspector Martin said.
Meanwhile, there were a number of other crashes yesterday including one in the afternoon where a woman was trapped in her vehicle for more than half an hour after hitting a light pole on Farnborough Road around 3pm.
The pole fell onto the woman’s car.
Traffic was diverted through Pacific Heights as the southbound lane was closed while emergency services crews worked to free the woman from her vehicle (more details Page 12). No one was badly hurt in the other crashes.
Police will be out in force today and tonight to make sure New Year’s motorists obey the road rules.