TWO Point Vernon fathers left for work on Thursday and never came home.
Mark Smith, 51, and Steven Maher, 41, were driving to Bundaberg for a concreting job at the Mater Hospital when an oncoming car allegedly crossed double lines and left them with nowhere to turn near Childers.
Just a few cars behind, their boss Brian McNamara could tell from the slowed traffic that trouble was ahead but it wasn't until he saw a concrete screed coming from the twisted wreck that he realised the lifeless bodies of his two workmates were inside.
Police were called to a hill crest on the Isis Hwy at Elliot about 5.45am.
Two Brisbane women, aged 30 and 28, were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries but Mr Maher and Mr Smith died at the scene.
Mr McNamara will be a long time forgetting Thursday's events - he had the unenviable job of identifying his friends to police - but he hopes others will remember them as "two true Aussie blokes who loved a hard day's work".
"They were good concreters and good friends," he said.
"They are going to be missed by a lot of people."
Following the crash, Mr McNamara and his fellow workers took the day off out of respect, had a quiet beer in Bundaberg and made the difficult trip home to comfort their friends' grieving families.
Mr Maher leaves behind a six-year-old son, Jackson, with his former partner Karen who said the ex pro-boxer was still working on getting his life "back on track" when he died on Thursday.
"Steve was a huge larrikin ... always seeing the joke in everything," she said.
"We always saw him as 'Mr Invincible'."
More recently, Mr Maher had been living with another partner, Amy, and her children.
Mr Smith also had children.
Bundaberg Police Sergeant Mick Ward confirmed a southbound car had been overtaking trucks in the lead-up to the crash.
He called for drivers to "stop the carnage ... take an extra five minutes" and get home safely.
Investigations are continuing.
WHAT'S NEWS TODAY
MIRACULOUSLY no one was seriously injured when an ambulance and a car collided head-on on the Bruce Hwy at Yandina in the 110kmh zone on Wednesday.
A patient in the back of the ambulance was being transported to hospital at the time.
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