Traffic on the North Shore was gridlocked last Thursday following two car accidents that claimed three lives in three hours, including a Coolum man.
Two teenage sisters from Brisbane, Anna Clark, 18, and her 15-year-old sister, Jennifer, died instantly when a truck crashed into the back of their car while it was stopped at road works on the Sunshine Motorway at Pacific Paradise just after 2.15pm.
Their 53-year-old father, who was the driver of their car, was also injured but was released from Nambour General Hospital.
Four cars had stopped under the direction of a traffic controller, in a 40kmh zone of the new motorway section, when a concrete pumping truck ran into their Subaru Forester, which was crushed between the truck and a small Hyundai hatchback in front of them.
The driver of the Hyundai was injured when the vehicle meshed with the Holden ute stopped in front of it.
Skid marks from the truck went for more than 20 metres.
The 50-year-old truck driver, who lives at a Kiel Mountain, has been interviewed by police.
Both the truck driver and his passenger escaped serious injury.
In the second accident, which happened just after 5pm, 87-year-old Douglas Arthur Crease from Coolum was killed when his car collided with a Holden Statesman carrying three people at The Boardwalk near Marcoola.
Earlier police had received reports about a silver vehicle leaving the scene of a crash on the David Low Way before being involved in the fatal head-on crash just 400 metres along the road.
Two adults and a young child inside a station wagon involved in the first impact were lucky to escape serious injury when the silver sedan mounted a roundabout and hit their vehicle before ploughing into bushes.
Police believe the driver accelerated back on to the road and continued towards the Town of Seaside.
Witnesses told police the speeding, silver vehicle then veered on to the wrong side of the road and collided with the Statesman.
The silver sedan flipped and ignited. Mr Crease is believed to have died instantly.
The three people in the Holden were rushed to Nambour General Hospital but are believed to be in a stable condition.
Traffic, which had been diverted to the David Low Way following the closure of the Sunshine Motorway after the first crash, ground to a halt after the second accident.
Motorists who were able to avoid, or extricate themselves from, the traffic gridlock were forced to use the Bruce Highway to traverse the Coast.
Commenting on the deaths of the two girls, police commissioner Bob Atkinson said the accident was “unimaginable and unthinkable”.
“I mean, it’s just incomprehensible isn’t it, that 15 and 18-year-old girls who are sisters, with their whole lives in front of them, and it’s just taken away,” he said.
“I find sometimes words just aren’t adequate. In a situation like that, I don’t know about anyone else, but I would not have the words that would be adequate to describe the depth and scale of that loss.”
Police officers interviewed traffic controllers on site and determined there were no problems with the work site.
A Main Roads spokesman said routine inspections of the site were carried out before the crash.
He said there were appropriate signs in place to provide drivers with advance warning of the changed traffic conditions.
The deaths brought the Sunshine Coast road toll to five in just the first 15 days of the year.
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