The collision on August 24 which tragically claimed the life of Alan Wickham.
The collision on August 24 which tragically claimed the life of Alan Wickham. Jonno Colfs

A month of tragedy: four deaths, three rollovers

SOUTHERN Downs roads have experienced a horror period on the roads, and authorities are saying enough is enough.

Wednesday's double fatality on the New England Hwy is the second major incident in a week, and continues a worrying trend of road-related accidents.

This follows the Cunningham Hwy collision which claimed the life of Alan Wickham on August 24.

The fatalities resulted in the deaths of three Southern Downs locals, which Warwick and District Community Road Safety Group secretary Andrew Gale said struck a chord.

"Incidents like this really hit close to home," Mr Gale said.

"If you don't know the individuals, I guarantee you know somebody who did.

"Unfortunately, there are now two very sad families that won't have a father to celebrate with on Father's Day."

Warwick Patrol Group Inspector Brian Cannon echoed these sentiments, and said there was a need to take care of each other on the roads.

"People need to be careful at all times on the road," Insp Cannon said.

"They are essentially operating pieces of heavy machinery and it is a person's responsibility to ensure they travel safely from point A to point B.

"These situations create grief and sadness.

"It also creates angst.

"Not just among families and friends connected to the incident, but among emergency services as well, and creates a serious toll for everybody involved.

"The vast bulk of law- abiding citizens focus on what needs to be done and our presence isn't necessary."

Wednesday's incident marks the third and fourth lives lost on Southern Downs roads in the past month.


Cunningham Hwy crash.
The Cunningham Hwy crash which claimed the life of a Gold Coast woman. Sophie Lester

A 50-year-old Gold Coast woman died in a collision with a truck at Clintonvale, on the Cunningham Hwy, on August 12.

Stanthorpe Officer in Charge Senior Sergeant Gerard Brady said driving on country roads required extra attention from all road users.

"One of the biggest concerns in rural areas is people on the highway not paying attention they should be to the road," Snr Sgt Brady said.

"In a split second lives can be changed forever.

"On country roads, fatigue is often a big factor, particularly with people travelling long distances and so many arterial roads.

"Police see a lot of incidents that involve fatigue.

"Overtaking is another concern. People need to always double check it is safe to overtake as it puts the vehicle head-on with oncoming traffic."

Mr Gale said road users needed to be extra cautious when travelling on major roads.

"It's been a trying time on the road during the last couple of weeks," he said.

"It's devastating that we have seen such a bad run of crashes out on the highways.

"A fact is this can happen to anyone."


A man has been killed and a woman critically injured after a horror smash on the New England Hwy between Toowoomba and Warwick.
A man and woman were killed on the New England Hwy between Toowoomba and Warwick on August 30. Jonno Colfs