Brisbane sisters Anna, 18 and Jessica Clark, 15, died instantly when a truck crashed into the back of their car while it was stopped at road works at Pacific Paradise
Brisbane sisters Anna, 18 and Jessica Clark, 15, died instantly when a truck crashed into the back of their car while it was stopped at road works at Pacific Paradise John McCutcheon/180433c

8 horrific crashes that shattered the Sunshine Coast

ALL traffic crashes have an effect on the people involved but some are so tragic their effects spread throughout an entire community.

They change lives and can result in action being taken to try to ensure they don't happen again.

As a part of its Give Don't Grieve series, the Sunshine Coast Daily has selected eight of the crashes that shocked the region.

The list is not exhaustive, but does show how decisions behind the wheel can have widespread and long-lasting effects.

 

Sunbus operations manager Bob Carney walks past the scene of a head-on crash between a bus and ute that killed bus driver Bruce Kent.
Sunbus operations manager Bob Carney walks past the scene of a head-on crash between a bus and ute that killed bus driver Bruce Kent. Brett Wortman/181270

March 4, 2009- Nambour Connection Rd: Sunbus driver of 16 years Bruce Kent died at the scene of a head-on collision with a ute about 11am.

Fourteen of his passengers were injured but all survived the impact.

Mr Kent's family and colleagues were shattered by his loss.

The 26-year-old driver of the ute, Stephen Paul McIntosh, was taken to Nambour General Hospital in a critical condition.

Mr McIntosh had veered into the path of the bus. He was later convicted of dangerous driving causing death and grievous bodily harm.

He was sentenced in Maroochydore District Court on April 30, 2010, to four years in jail.

 

Tributes rest against a tree in Karawatha Drive in the days after three teenagers were killed in a crash.
Tributes rest against a tree in Karawatha Drive in the days after three teenagers were killed in a crash. Chris McCormack/cm161600c

November 18, 2006- Karawatha Dr: Friends Joel Doyle, 19, Travis Guerin, 18 and Nakitta Deacon, 15, died when the Holden Statesman they were in crashed into a tree about 1.40am.

The impact split the car in half and wrapped the wreckage around the tree, shaving bark off to a height of two metres and spraying glass 40 metres up the road.

A fourth teenager, Brooke Pratt, 15, was critically injured but survived.

Hundreds of people visited the site in the weeks after the crash, leaving photos, flowers and messages of love.

Ms Pratt went on to give road safety presentations as a part of work done by Road Trauma Services Queensland.

 

Kari and Allan Taylor were killed when they were hit by a car beside the Sunshine Motorway at Sippy Downs.
Kari and Allan Taylor were killed when they were hit by a car beside the Sunshine Motorway at Sippy Downs.

August 19, 2009- Sunshine Motorway: School teacher, principal and chaplain Allan Taylor and his dance instructor wife Kari Taylor had responded to a call for help from their daughter who had been in a minor crash near Sippy Downs.

They arrived about 4.15pm and parked on the shoulder of the east-bound lanes of the motorway.

Police said the couple was standing behind their car when they were struck by an east-bound four-wheel-drive driven by a 75-year-old man from Wurtulla.

News of the tragedy spread quickly through Coast schools, churches and community organisations where the Taylors were well known.

Their deaths had a profound affect on those who knew them.

February 17, 2010- Cooroy Noosa Rd: Mates Jake Bailey, 18 and Andrew Spence, 18, died after the white sedan they were passengers in and a Renault wagon collided shortly before 4pm.

Their friend Nathan Palmer, who was 19 at the time, was driving and survived with minor injuries.

Mr Palmer was sentenced in August 2011 for dangerous driving causing death to two years in jail, wholly suspended for three years.

He was also disqualified from driving for two years.

Mr Palmer kept in regular contact with the mothers of Mr Bailey and Mr Spence, who said they had forgiven him and were relieved he did not have to serve jail time.

 

January 15, 2009- Sunshine Motorway: Brisbane sisters Anna, 18 and Jessica Clark, 15, died instantly when a truck crashed into the back of their car while it was stopped at road works at Pacific Paradise just after 2.15pm.

They were sitting in the back seats.

Four cars had stopped under the direction of a traffic controller, in a 40kmh zone of the new motorway section, when a concrete pumping truck ran into their Subaru Forester, which was crushed between the truck and a small Hyundai hatchback in front of them.

The 50-year-old truck driver, Patrick George Boyd, was charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death.

Mr Boyd pleaded guilty on November 23, 2009, in Maroochydore District Court to the charges. He was sentenced to four years in jail to be released after serving 14 months.

 

Four people, including five-year-old twins, died after two cars collided on Nambour Connection Rd at Woombye.
Four people, including five-year-old twins, died after two cars collided on Nambour Connection Rd at Woombye. Brett Wortman / 182503

May 8, 2009- Nambour Connection Rd: Five-year-old twin sisters Grace and Jessica Hornby were being driven by their grandmother Denise Mansell, 60, when their car was struck side-on as it turned into Blackall St at Woombye just after 6.15pm.

They and the driver of the second car, 43-year-old Anthony Paul Thomson, died as a result of the crash.

Mr Thomson's car was found to have been speeding before the crash.

It was a devastating scene that left an imprint on emergency service workers called to help.

The tragedy gave momentum to calls made years earlier for improved traffic safety measures at the site.

A coroner's inquest was also held as a result.

A fixed speed camera was installed at the site and switched on in January 2013 to monitor the 70kmh speed limit.

 

Michael Clunes and his son, Nick, who died after being struck by a car on Eudlo Rd.
Michael Clunes and his son, Nick, who died after being struck by a car on Eudlo Rd. Contributed

April 30, 2011- Eudlo Rd: Coolum 18-year-old Nick Clunes was walking to a mate's place after leaving the Palmwoods Hotel when he was struck by a car in the early hours of the morning.

He had been watching Friday night football at the pub and was about 2km into his walk when he was hit.

A post mortem examination determined Mr Clunes was lying on the road at the time.

The driver did not stop, which sparked a police search.

It resulted in charges being laid against Mark Tytherleigh two months later.

He was sentenced in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on December 7, 2011, for ignoring the duties of a driver involved in a road crash.

He was disqualified from driving for nine months and placed on a 15-month probation order.

July 15, 1995- Bruce Hwy: Brisbane truck driver Colin Clift, 39, was hailed a hero after sacrificing himself to avoid smashing into a car just north of the Steve Irwin Way interchange.

Mr Clift was driving a 40,000L Ampol fuel tanker north when a car with a woman and two children inside it appeared in front of him.

It had been waiting at a stop sign to enter the highway before another car hit it from behind and pushed it into the path of Mr Clift's truck.

Mr Clift swerved to minimise the collision with the car but lost control of the truck and ended up in a culvert.

He was unable to escape the truck after it erupted into flames. Mr Clift's actions were recognised with bravery awards.

A bridge over the Mooloolah River near the crash site is named after him.


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