Two men dead after head-on smash
TWO men were killed in an “appalling” head-on smash at Yarrol, between Monto and Mt Perry, early yesterday morning.
It is believed a utility and sedan collided some time before 7.20am yesterday, on an unsealed section of the Monto-Mt Perry Road.
Both male drivers died at the scene.
The close-knit Monto community was left in shock after the crash, which killed 55-year-old high school teacher Lionel Cavanagh.
Bundaberg Police Inspector Kev Guteridge said the other man was from Biloela.
Ambulance Service group co-ordinator Rick Tenthy said people at the scene used CB radios to send details of the horrific smash to a nearby home, where the property owner relayed the information to emergency services.
“Ambulance crews from Monto and Eidsvold tried to resuscitate the men for about half an hour before the helicopter arrived,” Mr Tenthy said.
The crash took place in an area with no mobile telephone reception, about 50km from Monto.
“It was an appalling traffic crash. Both those people lost their lives on a lonely, isolated stretch of road,” Mr Tenthy said.
AGL Action Rescue spokesman Colin Brown said the vehicles crashed at the crest of a hill on an unsealed section of road.
“Monto ambulance paramedics were there when the helicopter arrived, and a Gin Gin ambulance arrived shortly after, but it was established quickly that the two men were deceased,” he said.
A woman in her 60s was trapped in the utility, with serious chest injuries.
Mr Brown said she was airlifted to Bundaberg Hospital in a critical condition, where she remained last night.
Friends and former students of Mr Cavanagh yesterday shared fond memories of the man they nick-named “Mr Cav”, whose teaching career spanned three decades.
“Mr Cav did a lot for the Monto community and will be missed sadly,” former student Charlene Keegan said.
“He was a great teacher. The funniest thing I remember about Mr Cav was when I forgot my hat in agriculture class one day, he made me wear this plastic hat. I guarantee you I never forgot my hat again after that.”
Terri Howkins, whose son was taught by Mr Cavanagh, said her entire family would miss him.
“He might have been a very rough man on the outside but he had a heart of gold when he was passionate about things,” Mrs Howkins said.
“I think one of the best things that the school did was introduce cattle club (with Mr Cavanagh).”
A Queensland Education Department spokesman described Mr Cavanagh as a “friend to all” at Monto State High School.
“Lionel was a much-loved member of Monto State High School and for the past 30 years, poured his heart and soul into teaching agricultural science,” Wide Bay North District Schools executive director Ken Collier said.
“I know that the thousands upon thousands of children he has helped over three decades will mourn his loss.
“We will miss him greatly and offer our most sincere condolences to his family at this terrible time.”
Education district staff and the school will provide counselling services to students and staff of Monto State High School over the coming weeks.
The Bundaberg Police Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the crash.