Father of eight killed, kids seriously injured in crash

Robert Figg died in a traffic crash north of Townsville on August 11.
Robert Figg died in a traffic crash north of Townsville on August 11.

A FATHER of eight has been identified as the victim of a horrific crash near Bluewater which almost also claimed the lives of three of his children.

Robert Figg, 39, was the front-seat passenger in a four-wheel-drive being driven by a learner when the car suddenly left the Bruce Highway at Sleeper Log Creek near Bluewater about 5.25pm on Friday.

The Toomulla Beach father to five sons and three daughters, aged 6 months to 15 years, was trapped in the car and pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle, a 24-year-old man, and two of Mr Figg's sons, aged 15 and 11, sustained minor injuries while a third son, 14, was flown to Townsville Hospital.

The 14-year-old boy remained in hospital in a coma yesterday.

The police Forensic Crash Unit's Senior Constable Rick North said there were witnesses to the crash who would be formally interviewed.

He said drugs and alcohol were not being investigated as factors in the crash after the driver passed a roadside test.

"The learner driver was travelling north and, for reasons unknown at this stage, the vehicle has lost control, crossed on to the wrong side of the road and rolled, but we're not sure how many times," Sen-Constable North said.

"The vehicle has then ended up upside down back on the correct side of the road facing south after rotating 180 degrees during the crash."

Sen-Constable North said it was a distressing scene.

"The children are very distressed at losing their father," he said.

"They were very traumatised at the time and they were very lucky to escape with their lives. Everyone in the vehicle was wearing their seatbelts so it proves if they are used correctly, they can save lives."

Sen-Constable North said the four-wheel-drive was being kept in a police holding yard where it would undergo a mechanical inspection.

The Toomulla Beach community has rallied in support of Mr Figg's wife and children, with a fundraiser planned for this week to help with funeral, medical and living expenses.

Tributes on social media have also begun pouring in for the man known as "Figgy".

"That cheeky grin never will forget it my brother RIP my brother Figgy," one man posted on Facebook. Another woman wrote: "To my old friend, R.I.P. You were a man who would protect his family and friends to the death, you will be sorely missed by anyone who has ever known you Figgy."

Any witnesses yet to speak with police or drivers with dashcam vision are urged to call PoliceLink on 131 444.

Topics:  crash editors picks father tribute

News Corp Australia

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