Five people were injured, two seriously, in a high speed crash in Gatton.
Five people were injured, two seriously, in a high speed crash in Gatton. Melanie Maeseele

Teen's ear ripped off in crash

A TEENAGER'S ear has been ripped off and his lung punctured in a horrific high-speed crash on a suburban street which injured five people.

The young man, a passenger, was one of two teenagers seriously hurt in the crash. He also suffered broken ribs and deep cuts to his head and body.

The 19-year-old driver of the car was taken to Toowoomba Hospital with a fractured skull, but his condition worsened and he had to be airlifted to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane where he is undergoing treatment for blood clots to his brain.

The crash, which happened on Woodlands Road in Gatton just after 2pm on Saturday, has shocked the close-knit community.

They said they wondered what it would take to force young drivers to slow down and stop driving dangerously.

Comments about the injured boys flooded social networking site Facebook as word of the crash spread.

“Our prayers go out to the boys and hope they make a speedy recovery,” one Facebook user said.

The driver's sister, who admitted “the boys are very lucky to be alive”, posted photographs of the horrific crash.

She said the images were “not posted to brag about or to be nasty, but I put them up so everyone can work out for themselves what happened”.

A Facebook user said posting the images was “the right thing to do”.

“Hopefully it will be a stark message to our young drivers about how quickly things can go wrong,” they wrote.

Witnesses told The Queensland Times a Holden Commodore with four Gatton teenagers inside was travelling east into Gatton well in excess of the 60kmh speed limit when the driver lost control.

The witnesses said the car “slid on an angle” around a slight bend before veering on to the median strip, snapping a tree in half before rolling on to a car travelling in the opposite direction.

The Commodore then flattened a light pole on the opposite side of the road and crossed a footpath before coming to rest in the front yard of a newly-built house.

Nearby residents rushed to the scene to help try and free the trapped men before emergency services arrived.

Gatton auxiliary firefighter Geoff Dixon said crews from Gatton and Forest Hill used hydraulic cutting gear to help free two of the occupants of the Commodore.

Mr Dixon said the driver's side took most of the impact in the crash, with the driver, 19-year-old Jake Shackleton and one of his passengers, Johnathan Weston, 18, trapped in the barely recognisable vehicle for half an hour.

“They are certainly all very lucky to have survived,” Mr Dixon said. “Unfortunately it's an indicator of an inexperienced driver doing excessive speed in a built-up area. If there was some common sense shown they wouldn't be in that predicament.”

The driver of the other vehicle was treated for shock.

Three other people in the Commodore were transported to Gatton Hospital, but one was transferred to Ipswich Hospital.

The police forensic crash unit is investigating.



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