Family's lucky crash escape
A BUNDABERG family are counting their blessings after avoiding a cane railway crossing collision that left their car on its roof and its five occupants almost unscathed.
While they are grateful for their miraculous escape, the family is calling for better safety measures to ensure no one else is ever in the same situation.
Karlheinz Horn and four of his children were returning from a day at the beach on Sunday when the crash happened.
“We were on our way home, all in a happy mood, and the sun must have been right behind me because I couldn’t see the lights flashing right until the last second,” he said.
“The train came out of nowhere and I had to divert and we crashed. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever been through.”
Mr Horn said he travelled the road almost every weekend and believed motorists needed more warning when approaching the level crossing.
“I reckon it should be an 80kmh zone, not 100kmh,” he said.
“This probably wouldn’t have happened if there was more of a warning.”
Family member and truck driver David Toft said amber warning lights prior to the red lights on the track were used around Proserpine, which gave motorists a chance to stop.
“It’s really good – especially in a truck,” he said.
“They should have this sort of thing around here (Bundaberg).”
Four of Mr Horn’s children, Jakob, 19, Jazmyn, 14, Gemmah, 12, and Jackson, 10, were in the car at the time of the crash.
Gemmah received a cracked sternum and Jakob, Jackson and Jazmyn walked away with nothing more than neck pain.
Their mother, Nikki Rumney, said she hoped no one else would ever have to receive the same call.
She said reducing the speed limit and having more signage or earlier warning lights could stop future crashes.
“It could have been a lot worse for us,” she said.
“People are saying you should be aware, but you can’t see the lights in that sun. I’ve even had the opposite problem where it looks like the lights are on but they aren’t.”
Mrs Rumney said safety and awareness money could be better spent.
“Instead of all the advertising, they could spend more money around the crossings to put in more warnings,” she said.
“If traffic has to bank up for a cane train to pass safely, so be it. We really want to thank Courtney and her partner who stopped to help and the ambulance officers and people at the hospital. They were great.”