Gary and Joedy Whitaker with Lara and Josh.
Gary and Joedy Whitaker with Lara and Josh.

Almost $80,000 raised for child critically hurt at racetrack

A SOCIAL media campaign has raised nearly $80,000 for a Lockyer Valley toddler critically injured at Redcliffe Paceway.

Lara Whitaker was spectating with family when a mobile barrier failed to retract and smashed into them during a harness race on March 24.

The entire family was hospitalised, including her harness father Gary, but Lara fared the worst receiving critical facial and abdominal injuries.

She remains in a critical but stable condition in the Queensland Children's Hospital.

Lara Whitaker, 2, suffered critical injuries. Her brother Josh, 1, was hospitalised with non life-threatening injuries.
Lara Whitaker, 2, suffered critical injuries. Her brother Josh, 1, was hospitalised with non life-threatening injuries.

A GoFundMe campaign started by current Australian Trotting Driving Champion, Scott McCarthy has raised $79,620 in nine days.

Donations have poured in for the well-known racing family far exceeding the initial $5000 target.

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission is investigating the incident.

The Commission initially halted race meetings in the wake of the tragedy after it was revealed mobile barriers did not meet local safety standards.

Harness racing was then allowed to proceed at Albion Park but with mobile starts replaced by walk-up starts.

Mobile starts recommenced on Tuesday.


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