‘I couldn’t get him out’: Truckie’s crash scene horror
A witness to a horrific crash that took the life of a man this morning said he saw the car fly off the Bruce Highway at 100km/h and crash into a creek bed.
Truck driver Darryl Whitby, 57, was in shock as he frantically checked for a pulse on and stayed with the man until the ambulance arrived on scene.
Police Forensic Crash Unit officer Sergeant Peter Cowan said emergency services responded to the single vehicle traffic crash in the northbound lanes, just south of the Ilkley Rd overpass, at 9.30am on Thursday.
"It's too early to say what's caused the specific crash but certainly given the high speed nature of the road being travelled and the terrain that the vehicle's travelled in and the significant impact of several trees has resulted in the fatal outcome," Sgt Cowan said.
He said there were no markings on the road that indicated the driver slammed on his brakes before his car, a Mitsubishi Challenger, crashed into the embankment.
"It was a significant way down through a dense, forested area into a creek bed," he said.
Sgt Cowan said the man, believed to be middle-aged and local to the area, was pronounced dead at the scene.
"It was very lucky not to impact other vehicles and have more persons injured," he said.
Mr Whitby said he was travelling on the Bruce Highway just behind the crash victim when the crash happened.
"I was in the left hand lane and there was a ute in front of me," he said.
"This guy (crash victim) overtook us in the right hand lane and sort of wandered over a little bit and I thought 'silly driver' and then all of a sudden he just left the road.
"He just sailed off the road at 100km/h."
Mr Whitby said he immediately pulled over on the side of the highway along with the driver of the ute.
"The guy in the ute ran down while I called triple zero and he came back up and I said 'is there a pulse or anything?' and he said 'I can't deal with it'.
"So I went down and sat with him with the ambulance on the phone until the ambulance arrived.
"I was feeling for a pulse and couldn't find one.
"Ambos were asking me if I could get him out, I couldn't get him out."
Mr Whitby, from Sippy Downs, said it "felt like an eternity," while waiting for the ambulance to arrive but he estimated it was only about 10 minutes.
He said he thought the man could have suffered a medical episode.
"Could I have done something else," Mr Whitby said.
"That's the big question I'm asking myself.
"The police have told me no but you still ask yourself that question."
Mr Whitby said it was not a scene he would be able to forget.
"A lot of people just keep driving and no one stops," he said.
"We were the only two cars that stopped.
"There could have been kids in that car.
"Luckily it was just one and luckily he didn't take any other cars with him.
"From now on, I'll always stop."
Mr Whitby said he was feeling lucky to be alive, after having to slam on his brakes to stop.
"If he hit the guardrail - he just missed the guardrail by that much, he probably would have taken me and the ute," he said.
"I'm just going to park my truck for the rest of the day and have a few beers.
"The police told me I shouldn't drive."
Investigations are continuing.