Family walks away from head-on highway crash
A FAMILY has miraculously walked away from a high-speed crash after their car slammed into an oncoming ute on the Warrego Hwy.
Oakey man Wes Whitbread, his pregnant partner Melissa Ambrose and their children Dakota, 3, and Aston, 18 months, were on their way home from picking up dinner in Toowoomba on Monday when they came across an obstacle about 6.45pm.
A full 20 litre oil drum was standing on its base in the middle of the westbound lane, about 2km east of Oakey.
"I saw the drum in the middle of our lane and I tried to brake but it was too late and we hit the drum..." Miss Ambrose said.
She said their Holden sedan fishtailed and ended up spinning into an oncoming ute.
Both vehicles were travelling about 100kmh.
"It was really odd," Miss Ambrose said.
"You could kind of see what was going to happen but there was no time to do anything about it.
"It just happened so quickly."
Mr Whitbread said the vehicles came together with an "almighty bang".
Despite the carnage, his family as well as the ute driver, Toowoomba man Mick Langton, were out of their cars before emergency services arrived.
"There were people on the side of the road saying they were picking the drum up," Mr Whitbread said.
"Whether they were or whether it was their drum, I'm not sure."
He was angry the drum had been on the road but relieved his family was safe.
Apart from his very sore ribs and his partner's seatbelt burn, they had escaped unscathed.
"In the scheme of things we are good. It is good that we are all alive."
Mr Langton was driving home from Oakey when the crash occurred.
He was very sore yesterday but had been cleared of broken bones or serious injury.
"Just the sheer impact of it was unbelievable," Mr Langton, 38, said.
"It was like a bomb going off."
He said airbags had saved his life or at least saved him from serious injury.
"I will never buy a car without side airbags again."
Oakey police would like to speak with anyone with information on how the oil drum came to be on the highway. Anyone with information can call Oakey police on 4691 1020.