Successful search for fatal crash victim’s family
A HEARTFELT tribute to the memory of South Mackay man Bruce Mather will live on as safety upgrades pave over the section of highway that took his life in 2013.
A brass plate with a picture of a boat on a simple wooden cross marked the place where the 50-year-old died at the scene of a two-vehicle crash on the Bruce Highway, south of Bowen.
Seven years after his death, the Transport and Main Roads Department is putting highway safety upgrades in motion.
A Transport and Main Roads spokeswoman said before the upgrade could begin, the department wanted to contact Ms Mather's family.
"This memorial was identified in the future footprint of a project to improve safety along a section of the Bruce Highway between Emu Creek in Proserpine and Drays Road in Bowen," she said.
To find the family TMR turned to social media posting an appeal to the public on Thursday.
Within 25 minutes TMR tracked down Mr Mather's loved ones.
An appeal to the public.— Transport and Main Roads Queensland (@TMRQld) December 3, 2020
Can you help us find the owners of this roadside memorial on the Bruce Highway between Proserpine and Bowen? It has a small brass plate attached to it with the words “Bruce Francis Mather". pic.twitter.com/eTXYkJ9N2B
"We are pleased we could make contact with the family connected to this roadside memorial," the TMR spokeswoman said.
"We couldn't have done this without community help and we thank our Facebook followers and others involved for their assistance."
"We will work with the family to find a suitable place for the memorial to be returned or relocated in accordance with their wishes in the new year."
The spokeswoman said the department understood the importance of roadside memorials to families.
She said they were allowed to remain in place as long as they were not distracting or creating a safety hazard.
She said the Bowen highway upgrades would improve almost 20 kilometres of the road and deliver a wide centre line treatment, safety barriers and upgrade five intersections.
Work is expected to finish by late 2022.