Nine backpackers were injured in a rollover on River Heads Road yesterday but, thankfully, no lives were lost.
Nine backpackers were injured in a rollover on River Heads Road yesterday but, thankfully, no lives were lost. Alistair Brightman

Lucky escape as 4WD rolls in wet

IT COULD have been fatal.

Another wet road, a top-heavy 4WD and nine backpackers – an all-too-familiar dangerous mix.

Of the English and Danish tourists involved in the crash on River Heads Road yesterday, one suffered a dislocated shoulder and two had suspected spinal injuries.

They were taken to Hervey Bay Hospital along with the six others with minor injuries.

It was the fourth accident in two days.

Bumper-to-bumper cars snaked down the temporarily closed road to a scene of firefighters, police, paramedics, tow truck drivers, witnesses and bloody victims.

Muddy tyre marks skidded off bitumen into grass along a rural property fence.

The white Palace Backpackers hire 4WD lay on its right side – a young man was being treated in the back; another was in a neck brace; while female passengers with blood on their arms and legs sat nearby, clearly shaken.

Colin Voigt (right) was also stunned – it was his 4WD the backpackers had been overtaking when the incident happened just after noon.

Mr Voigt said the backpacker 4WD had pulled out sharply behind his vehicle, lost control and had not been able to regain it.

“It was not pretty to watch.”

Mr Voigt pulled over to help as some of the backpackers climbed out of the vehicle’s windows and called police. Hervey Bay Constable Tarrant Jones has confirmed speed was not a factor and investigations are under way. He would not reveal who was driving.

Mr Voigt has been a River Heads resident for six years and said although yesterday’s accident was the first he had witnessed in the suburb, River Heads Road was “shocking”.

There were three car crashes on the Fraser Coast on Tuesday; the worst involved four high school students who had to be cut from wreckage at Torquay.

They suffered rib and neck pain.



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