Fatal highway tragedy but passengers "lucky indeed"

EXTREMELY lucky was how the Stanthorpe Ambulance Station acting officer in charge described the three men inside the car involved in a fatal crash that claimed the life of a 44-year-old Wallangarra mother Wednesday night.

In his first fatality since starting the new role three months ago, acting officer in charge of the Stanthorpe Ambulance Station Andrew Lowndes said the three men (aged 19, 20 and 21) were "very lucky indeed".

Mr Lowndes arrived at the scene of the two-car head-on collision just 4km from the southern end of Wallangarra Rd at 7.11pm Wednesday night to find three men lying on the shoulder of the road as three separate bystanders provided first aid.

The 19-year-old was complaining of neck pain, the 20-year-old sustained chest injuries while the 21-year-old driver was found with severe cuts.

The female driver of the other car was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three ambulance vehicles arrived on the scene, but as all three had to transport patients back to Stanthorpe Hospital, members of the Stanthorpe Fire Service drove the ambulances back to the hospital to free the paramedics up to work on the patients during transit.

"The guys have said it can get quite busy around here so according to them it has been quiet over the last few months," Mr Lowndes said.

Captain of the Stanthorpe Fire Service of five years Ian Barnden said that the area seemed more prone to backpacker-related road accidents than others.

"It's hard to judge but I know there's more than what we're comfortable with," he said.

"I think the causes of the accidents generally are more fatigue related than anything else.

"The roads aren't that bad but we're two hours from Brisbane so people just keep going without taking the breaks they should.

"This summer season has been pretty good up until last night, compared to the start of last year when we had five fatalities in five weeks."


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