Carmela Xiriha Springer with her and Daniel's wedding photo. Together for 12 years, they have an 11-month-old son named Wolf.
Carmela Xiriha Springer with her and Daniel's wedding photo. Together for 12 years, they have an 11-month-old son named Wolf. Tony Martin

Daniel was 'just doing his best for his family' when he died

DANIEL Springer was known for his likeable personality.

"He wouldn't have had one critic - and definitely not one enemy," said schoolmate Dave Miller, who fought back tears as he described the man he grew up with.

Mr Springer, a boilermaker of 10 years, was severely injured in a workplace incident at Goonyella Riverside mine, near Moranbah, about 1am Saturday.

Taken initially to Mackay Base Hospital, he was soon airlifted to Townsville Hospital, where he died overnight Sunday.

He had only been in the job for a matter of weeks and was to have been in Townsville that weekend to watch the Cowboys, his wife's favourite rugby league team, but instead had to work.

 

In a cruel coincidence, his wife of 12 years, Carmela Xiriha Springer, was already in Townsville following the match when Daniel was taken to hospital.

"I don't understand how it all aligned," she said. "He was supposed to be there (at the footy) but he had just started his new job, so he was at work instead."

Despite her loss, Mrs Xiriha Springer remains strong, surrounded by a group of family and friends who won't leave her alone for a second.

She stays strong for her 11-month-old son, Wolf.

 

Daniel Springer with his son Wolf.
Daniel Springer with his son Wolf. Facebook

 

"I am okay because I have to be, I think," Mrs Xiriha Springer said.

"I've been saying to everybody, I'll be at home and there will be something on the shelf that is too high or I can't pick something up because it's too heavy - I may end up losing it.

"Because he worked out of town, it still feels like he's at work. I expect it will hit me at some point."

Mrs Xiriha Springer has been overwhelmed by the support of the wider community. The family's phones have been running "red hot" with calls and messages of support.

"I guess everyone can resonate with the fact that you go to work and you do the right thing... he was just doing the best for his family and accidents happen, unexpected things happen," she said.

"It's really touching that people... they feel it too."

 

GRIEVING: Daniel Springer's widow, Carmela Xiriha Springer (centre), and (from left) Zach Rodda, Maria Xiriha,  Tarah Rodda and David Miller remember the 31-year-old who died after a workplace accident at the weekend.
GRIEVING: Daniel Springer's widow, Carmela Xiriha Springer (centre), and (from left) Zach Rodda, Maria Xiriha, Tarah Rodda and David Miller remember the 31-year-old who died after a workplace accident at the weekend. Tony Martin

Daniel was the kind of bloke that everyone loved, Mrs Xiriha Springer said. He made people smile and laugh.

Mr Miller has vowed to ensure his mate's son knows his dad.

"As a group, and Daniel's brothers and the rest of his family, we'll be doing everything for that boy just so he knows the type of person his dad was," he said.

The news of Daniel's tragic death has filtered as far south as Penrith, to the home ground of his beloved NRL team, the Panthers.

Coincidently, Carmela's Cowboys will run out against the Panthers this Saturday night. As a gesture to Daniel, the NRL club will pay tribute to the 31-year-old on the big screen at Pepper Stadium.

The family is currently organising a memorial for Daniel and expects it to be held the end of the next week.


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