'2MM FROM DEATH': Warning over near-fatal cattle crash
TWO millimetres was the difference between life and death for Heidi Strong on June 19, at 6.30pm.
While travelling along Round Hill Rd with her friend Mark Rudd the ambulance in front of them "violently swerved".
By the time Mr Rudd realised what the paramedic was dodging, a large black bull or cow, it was too late.
Recalling what she can remember of the crash, Ms Strong said, "I remember being on the phone. I was talking to my girlfriend's daughter... I was trying to get a phone number so I could let them know I'd be able to make it to poker that night.
"I saw the ambulance swerve abruptly, and I had my head turned to the passenger side window, and then the right side of my head copped the full impact."
Just seconds after their car was written off, the animal was hit by a motorist travelling in the opposite direction in a Holden Barina.
Ms Strong said she was struck on the right side of her head about two millimetres away from her temple artery.
"That would've resulted in death, regardless of the ambulance being there," she said.
Part of the right side of her scalp was hanging on the side of her face.
It was reattached during surgery that night at the Bundaberg Hospital.
Mr Rudd said the driver of the Barina suffered neck injuries.
Still haunted by memories of the crash, which makes her worried to step foot in a car, Ms Strong wanted to share her story to encourage people to be aware while on the roads.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Gladstone station officer Simon Pearson said two months ago a driver hit two cattle on Gladstone Benaraby Rd. The car was written off but Mr Pearson said they were lucky to escape with minor injuries.
While he said incidents involving cattle happened, they were not very often.
He can count on one hand how many he has responded to in 25 years.
"Around dusk, dawn and night time, when people like to push the speed limit, you really need to remain vigilant for wildlife on the roads, especially when it is a little bit drier too," he said.
Mr Pearson urged drivers to take notice of signs warning of cattle in the area, and to slow down.
Mr Rudd said it was lucky the ambulance was able to safely dodge the animal. He said the paramedic immediately tended to their injuries and called out for help from other services.
If you see livestock on the road, report it to the Gladstone Regional Council's 24 hour hotline 4970 0700.
Council officers can place signs in the area and attempt to remove the animal from the road.