The ute involved in the Princess Street, East Bundaberg fatality.
The ute involved in the Princess Street, East Bundaberg fatality. Mike Knott

Death toll too much

“FOUR people dead in a month — that is appalling.”

Bundaberg Police Inspector Kev Guteridge is disgusted after another young life was lost on Bundaberg’s roads during the weekend.

“We’ve seen the loss of lives of four young men who could have made a significant contribution to the betterment of Bundaberg. But this opportunity has been taken from them by their own actions, and that is a tragedy,” he said.

Tristan Harwood died on Sunday night, hours after his ute slammed into a powerpole on Princess Street.

He was cut from the vehicle and given CPR by paramedics but died from his injuries at Bundaberg Hospital.

His best mate, Chris Kaninski, was due to be best man at Tristan’s wedding next month and said he was a loving and loyal mate.

Mr Kaninski said Tristan's greatest love was for his fiance, family and friends.

“He was family orientated. He even dressed up in a big teddy bear suit for his niece's birthday,” Mr Kaninski said.

“He was such a loyal mate. If you needed him, he would just drop whatever he was doing. He was always there for you.”

A smile was always something you could find on Tristan's face.

“No matter what mood he was in, he was always smiling.

“He would say ‘I am a happy person, that is why I am always smiling'.”

Just a month out from wedding fiance Talia Ciprian, Mr Kaninski said Tristan was just beginning to start his life.

“He had just got the heads up to move to Mount Isa to start working at the mines,” he said.

“He will be truly missed.”

The 24-year-old had worked at Weller Mechanical Repairs for about six years, and had become good mates with his colleagues.

Friend Amy Sivyer told the NewsMail friends were struggling to come to terms with their loss.

“He was a great guy, taken too young.” Ms Sivyer said.

Other friends Kat and Ant said he always gave life “all or nothing.”

Inspector Guteridge said while the region's latest road death was tragic, it was easily avoidable.

“There are clear indications that the vehicle was being driven at speed and in an erratic manner, and we are investigating the possibility of alcohol consumption,” Insp Guteridge said.

“It appears the driver of the vehicle was irresponsible and reckless prior to the collision, and it is as a result of his own actions that this incident has occurred.”

He said high speed, alcohol, or both were involved in the four most recent fatalities — including the deaths of 18-year-old passenger Craig Deakin on July 24, 18-year-old Grant Barker who died on August 4, and 30-year-old Jeffrey Glenn Nothdurft who died on August 18.

“There is a very disturbing trend of young men travelling at high speed, possibly after the consumption of liquor, showing no regard for their safety or the safety of others,” he said.

“If you're going to play dangerous games, don't do it in a motor vehicle where people will be hurt by your selfish and stupid actions.”

The forensic crash investigation unit is investigating Sunday's smash.

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