The scene of the fatal crash near Woodburn which killed a 46-year-old Queensland man.
The scene of the fatal crash near Woodburn which killed a 46-year-old Queensland man. The Northern Star/Jacklyn Wagner

Woodburn's Bob Cummings' mercy dash

WHEN Woodburn man Bob Cummings saw a car collide with the cane truck travelling in front of him on the Pacific Highway yesterday, his first reaction was to run to the sedan and look through the driver's side window.

He soon wished he hadn't.

“I almost had a heart attack,” Mr Cummings said.

“I stopped across the road from the car and jumped out and looked into the window. I wish I hadn't – it was so smashed up. I knew he was dead.”

The crash killed the driver of the sedan, a 46-year-old Queensland man.

The driver of the cane truck, who had just started work, was taken to Ballina District Hospital suffering from shock.

The accident happened in a 100km/h zone about 1pm, five kilometres north of Woodburn.

The north-bound sedan collided with the side of a south-bound cane truck before crashing into a guardrail on the roadside.

Police Inspector Mick Dempsey said the cause of the accident was still under investigation.

However, it appeared that one of the vehicles had crossed the double centre lines, he said.

The highway was closed in both directions for the afternoon, with traffic diverted around the accident site.

Grafton woman Tracy Foley, who also witnessed the incident, said it had left her feeling shaken.

“My heart goes out to the families,” Ms Foley said.

“I saw the puff of smoke when the red car crashed.

“It was just so quick. It was awful.”

Brisbane truck driver Antony Newson and Grafton truck driver Peter Goodwin arrived at the scene shortly after the accident.

“You get a bad feeling in your gut when you see something like this,” Mr Newson said.

Mr Goodwin said he had come across a few road accidents while driving trucks over the years, but it never got any easier.

“It's always shocking,” he said.

“Most of the time it's driver error, not the roads.

“People should drive to the conditions.”

Yesterday's crash follows a double fatality outside Broadwater Public School in a 50km/h zone on August 12 when a semi-trailer collided with a B-double truck, killing both drivers and closing the school and the highway for the day.



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