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Soldier's name released

Private Stephen Blackburn has been named as the soldier killed in a military convoy crash north of Proserpine.
Private Stephen Blackburn has been named as the soldier killed in a military convoy crash north of Proserpine. Courtney Garnham

THE Australian Defence Force has released the name of the soldier who was killed in a crash north of Proserpine on Monday.

The soldier was Private Stephen Blackburn, who was returning to Sydney from Townsville in an Army convoy when the Land Rover in which he was a passenger veered off the Bruce Highway into a creek 23km from Proserpine.

Pte Blackburn had been in Townsville training as part of exercise Hamel from October 10 to November 5.

An Australian Defence Force (ADF) spokesperson said yesterday the investigation into the crash had begun and that the Army was co-operating with Queensland Police.

“We are co-operating with the Queensland Police as the accident will be treated as a normal highway fatality.”

The spokesperson said initial reports into the death of Pte Blackburn had found he suffered serious head injuries.

He said a second soldier, taken to Proserpine Hospital with minor injuries, was “recovering well”.

It is believed the Royal Australian Regiment 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.

The spokesperson said the ADF was supporting Pte Blackburn's family and offered them counselling.


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