POLICE were yesterday searching Ipswich for the father of two children killed in a horrific single-vehicle crash on the Bruce Highway near Childers.
A one-month-old baby and one-year-old child – both girls – were killed instantly when the Mitsubishi Pajero four-wheel-drive they were travelling in slammed into a tree at Apple Tree Creek about 1.15am Sunday.
The girls’ mother, 24, sustained spinal injuries in the smash and remains in a stable condition in the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
Three other sisters, aged three, four and seven, were taken to hospital in Brisbane with serious injuries.
A Royal Children’s Hospital spokeswoman said the four and seven-year-old girls had since been discharged.
The three-year-old girl suffered the more serious injuries.
The family lived in Ipswich up until six months ago, when they moved to Ballina on the northern NSW coast.
Childers police said yesterday they believed the deceased girls’ father still lived in Ipswich, and that efforts had been made for local authorities to find him and inform him of the tragic events.
However, Ipswich police said the father could not be tracked down and may have moved to NSW.
Senior Constable Fred Foster of the Childers police said the family had been embarking on another move to the far north Queensland town of Mareeba when the tragedy happened.
“We have seen a few accidents there but it is not a known black spot,” Snr Const Foster said.
“There’s a wide, sweeping right-hand bend.”
There were no skid-marks leading up to the fatal impact, leading police to consider fatigue as one of the possible causes.
Bundaberg police Superintendent Rowan Bond said investigations were centred around two of the “Fatal Four” – fatigue and seatbelts.
“The Scenes of Crime crew were out there (on Sunday),” Supt Bond said.
“At the moment, we’re looking at the immediate hours prior to the crash.”
The investigation will also look at whether the children were properly restrained before the incident.
Police have already interviewed the driver of the vehicle, a 27-year-old man who was not injured, and his sister, the 24-year-old woman.
Investigations were continuing.
Supt Bond urged drivers to take care on the roads.
“This will have caused considerable trauma for these families,” he said.
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