MOTORISTS who were first on the scene of a fatal traffic crash near Clairview said they could do nothing for the 22-year-old male driver of a Holden Commodore sedan.

The man's vehicle and a car-carrying truck collided two kilometres south of the township about 7.30am yesterday.

Truck driver Darryl Foster joined other motorists to help tow the man's car away from the truck, which had ignited on impact.

"The cabin (of the truck) was up in smoke when I got here and in about half an hour the rest of it burnt to the ground," Mr Foster said.

"I went up there, helped drag the car up out of the ditch away from the fire and that was it, there was nothing we could do for him."

The 48-year-old male truck driver, from Maryborough, received serious burns in the crash and was airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital. He was later transfered to the Royal Brisbane hospital.

Police said he was able to escape his truck shortly after the collision.

The 22-year-old driver has been identified as being from Jubilee Pocket in the Whitsundays.

Police said he had been travelling north when the vehicles collided head on.

The truck and its cargo caught fire, causing a bushfire, which was still burning late yesterday.

Mackay district duty police officer Senior Sergeant Nik Newman said it was believed a number of factors had contributed to the crash. "We've got the forensic crash unit investigators ... looking at the possible causes of the incident," he said. "We can't eliminate fatigue, speed and driver error. It's occurred on a bit of a sweeping bend ... but in saying that the factors are fairly perfect for driving this time of year. "There's nothing wrong with the road."

The Bruce Hwy was closed for about eight hours while emergency crews were at the scene.

Mr Foster said it was not unusual for him to come across such crashes while driving his truck.

"It happens all the time, unfortunately," Mr Foster said. "It's only going to get worse now because everyone's ... holiday makers."


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