Nine people in miraculous escape
NINE people, including an eight-month-old baby, miraculously survived a terrifying two-car smash on the Bruce Highway at Stuart yesterday.
A Ford Ranger utility, entering the highway off Zinc St, was flipped on to its roof after being hit by a Commodore sedan travelling south on the highway.
Police said the ute failed to give way to the sedan when entering the highway about 12.15pm.
Several passengers were trapped in the wreckage of both cars but all nine occupants survived the smash.
Townsville Forensic Crash Unit's Senior Constable Mark Knopjes said three children were in the Ranger, driven by a woman, 68, while the Holden was carrying five people, including the eight-month-old baby.
"Early investigations indicate that a Ford Ranger was exiting Zinc Rd turning right on to the Bruce Highway and has failed to give way to a white Commodore sedan that was travelling southbound," he said.
"As a result the Commodore collided with the right-hand side of the Ford Ranger, causing the vehicle to flip on to its roof.
"The driver (of the Holden) sustained serious injuries."
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed nine people were taken to hospital.
Five passengers with minor injuries were taken to Townsville Hospital in one ambulance and four others, more badly hurt, were taken in separate ambulances.
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman said firefighters freed three people who were trapped.
Station officer Brian Corrigan said it took up to 45 minutes to free the passengers.
"We stabilised the vehicle and casualties then used rescue equipment to cut away portions of the vehicle to release them," he said.
"It was quite difficult because there were multiple casualties so we had to manage that and prioritise with (paramedics) to assess which casualties required urgent rescue."
Mr Corrigan encouraged motorists to take care on the roads over Christmas.
"We don't like seeing this type of thing any time of year," he said.
"Unfortunately, things happen despite our best efforts and the efforts of the other emergency services to prevent it.
"Take your time, for the extra few minutes to be delayed on the road, it's not worth the carnage."