Woman killed in 'freakish' Pomona crash during storm
A WITNESS has told how passers-by ran to help a couple trapped in their crushed sedan after a freakish, head-on highway collision.
A 59-year-old Gympie woman died at the scene of the crash on the Bruce Hwy, near Pomona, on Wednesday night after the driver of the car she was in swerved to miss a tree brought down by a storm.
Motorists had reported the fallen tree in the northbound lane and police were on their way, but it was too late - the sedan, driven by an elderly man, and a four-wheel drive had collided.
The crash closed the Bruce Hwy in both directions for five hours.
Other motorists jumped out of their cars to help and raced over to assist where they could, ignoring the dangers of lightning strikes and the smoke coming from the sedan.
Jacqy Gregory said she was one of the first on the scene after avoiding the collision by seconds and watching the aftermath in her rear-view mirror.
"When it started storming we were right in the thick of it," Ms Gregory said.
"We were going 80kmh, the wipers full bore and the visibility was poor.
"We couldn't see the tree in advance, which was blocking the northbound lanes until we were right there. That's when I saw the headlights coming towards me and I swerved and pulled over to the side of the road and looked in my rear-vision mirror to see the car that was coming towards me all smashed.
"No one had any time to react - it's just one of those unfortunate things."
Ms Gregory called triple zero and rushed over to help.
"The rain was torrential and there were bolts of lightning everywhere," she said.
"The man in the four-wheel drive was climbing out and a man was helping him, so I looked towards the sedan, where there was already another lady helping the female passenger.
"I turned to the man whose knee was badly damaged from the dash.
"I just talked to him. I had never been in an accident so I didn't know what to do. I put my hand on his shoulder and all I could do was pray for him.
"There were so many people there that night, good, decent compassionate people standing up, risking their own lives to do the right thing."
Yesterday afternoon, the elderly driver was in a stable but critical condition in Nambour General Hospital Intensive Care Unit.
The 40-year-old behind the wheel of the four-wheel drive suffered minor injuries.
Gympie Police Inspector Jon Lewis has urged caution on the region's roads especially with the extra school holiday traffic.