Soldier killed in convoy crash

A solider died when the four-wheel-drive in which he was travelling veered off the Bruce Highway and into a creek yesterday.
A solider died when the four-wheel-drive in which he was travelling veered off the Bruce Highway and into a creek yesterday. Courtney Garnham

THE Australian Defence Force and Queensland Police are investigating a convoy crash in which a solider died yesterday, almost two months after a similar crash injured army personnel on the Bruce Highway, south of Rockhampton.

The solider, believed to have been 22 years old, was travelling in an Army convoy when the Land Rover in which he was a passenger veered off the Bruce Highway, 23 kilometres north of Proserpine.

Queensland Police said the single vehicle rollover happened at 1pm, near Six Mile Creek.

It is believed the convoy was driving south along the highway when the steering on the vehicle spun sharply to the right, causing the vehicle to crash into the creek.

An Australian Defence Force spokesperson said the solider had been travelling in a convoy of the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR).

The spokesperson said there were three army personnel travelling in the four-wheel drive and that the solider who died had been based in Sydney.

“The convoy was returning to Sydney from exercise Hamel in Townsville, which concluded late last week,” she said.

The solider was treated at the scene, along with a fellow solider, who received minor injuries, the spokesperson said.

“The Army has carried out strict safety compliances on the RAR convoy and the accident will be fully and thoroughly investigated.”

Emergency services crews along with the RACQ-CQ Rescue helicopter were called to the scene.

By the time the helicopter arrived the man had already been cut from the vehicle and taken to Proserpine Hospital by the Queensland Ambulance Service.

A second solider was also transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

Once the soldiers were transported to hospital the RACQ-CQ Rescue helicopter was tasked to Proserpine Hospital where they awaited instruction as to whether they were to transport the solider, who was in a critical condition, to a larger hospital in Townsville or Mackay for further treatment.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said the solider, who was suffering severe injuries, died at Proserpine Hospital at 4pm.

“The Defence Force has notified the next of kin and are ready to assist and support the family.”

The spokesperson said the Army would work with the Queensland Police in relation to the incident.

In late September an Army truck, believed to have been carrying explosives in a defence force convoy, erupted in a fireball after a crash involving a B-double semi-trailer 25km south of Rockhampton.

Two Army personnel were taken to Rockhampton by ambulance, one with spinal injuries and leg fractures and the other with a fractured leg.

Yesterday's fatality follows two crashes on Sunday afternoon.

In the first, just before noon, a motorcycle and a four-wheel drive collided on Eton Range.

About 4pm a car rolled on the Yakapari-Habana Road, trapping the 18-year-old driver for about an hour.

Yesterday the motorcyclist was in a critical but stable condition in Mackay Base Hospital with leg, arm and chest injuries.

The young woman, who had to be cut from her car after it rolled several times before landing on its roof in a cane paddock near Habana, remained in a stable condition in Mackay Base Hospital, a Queensland Health spokeswoman said.

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