Man killed in horror crash
A 48-YEAR-OLD man is dead after an horrific crash at Apple Tree Creek yesterday morning.
Police believe the man, from Morganville about 15km west of Booyal, died on impact when the car he was a passenger in left the road and smashed into a tree before crashing down an embankment about 7am.
Bundaberg Police Inspector Kev Guteridge said initial investigations indicated the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel.
"Fatigue looks to be a factor," Insp Guteridge said.
"The passenger in the vehicle was killed it appears on impact."
The man's death brought the state's Christmas road toll to nine and the region's road death toll since December 3 to six.
"These things have an impact on everyone involved," Insp Guteridge said.
"The driver of the vehicle will have to live with this for the rest of his life."
The crumpled wreck at the crash scene barely resembled a four-wheel-drive.
The roof had been peeled back by the impact and much of the engine had been crumpled back into the passenger's foot well.
Nearby resident Kate Barwick said her family heard the sound of the smash and she quickly rushed to the scene to help while her mother phoned 000.
"I raced up to see what could be done," Ms Barwick said.
"A couple of vehicles that were following stopped and two people had gone down to comfort the driver."
The 61-year-old driver was taken to Bundaberg Hospital in a stable condition with minor injuries and was not expected to be admitted.
While there was speculation the driver and passenger were brothers, police were unable to confirm that yesterday.
Ms Barwick said she and other bystanders managed traffic until emergency services arrived.
"We've lived at this house for 30 years and it's a tricky spot on the highway," she said.
"There are steep embankments on both sides of the road.
"When something goes wrong, you've got no where to go but off the sides."
Ms Barwick said it appeared the four-wheel-drive had been travelling south at the time of the crash.
"We didn't hear the sound of any brakes," she said.
"I couldn't praise the ambulance, firies and police more highly."
SES workers were busy diverting traffic around the crash scene for several hours while police investigated and the vehicle was recovered.
Police investigations are continuing.