Four Tara locals dead after single-car crash


Car crash at Tara

FATAL CRASH: On the scene of the crash at Tara.  Image: Channel Nine Source: Supplied

THE Darling Downs town of Tara is in shock after four locals were killed in a single-car crash over the weekend, with another man recovering in hospital.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Ray Brown said the deaths had rocked Tara, a town of about 820 residents.

“It’s extremely sad, particularly for a small community like Tara,” he said.

“Our region is a very close-knit family. Everyone knows everyone.

“Our thoughts are with the people and families involved.”

A passing motorist found the wreckage of the vehicle on Bennett School Rd about 8.15pm on Saturday and rang 000.

The car was split in half in what police described as a “horrific scene”.

Emergency services found two men, aged 26 and 39, and two women dead at the scene.

They transported one passenger, 48-year-old Steve Cook, by ambulance to the Tara Hospital before flying him to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital where he was in a serious but stable condition last night.

His injuries included multiple fractures to his legs, with one so bad surgeons had to ampuate a foot.

Carol Maree Otto, 43, was one of the women killed in the crash.

She had two sons, aged 17 and 14, by her former husband.

Ms Otto’s father, Merv, told Channel 9 last night he was shocked by news of the accident. “A father doesn’t expect his children to go before him,” he said.

Facebook memorial pages have already sprung up with tributes to two of the dead, “Brad” and “Wendy”.

Another man named Cameron is believed to be the fourth victim.

Cr Brown said Bennett School Rd was not a known trouble spot.

The car was found close to where at least one of the victims lived.

“The police have (indicated) that speed was a factor,” he said.

Cr Brown urged motorists to be particularly cautious on all rural roads.

“Across the whole region any loss of life is always a sad time, but to have this number of people, obviously from different families, is of great concern as it affects so many,” he said.

The state’s road toll for the year as of midnight on Thursday was 180, up 15 from the same time the year before.

The four fatalities brought the toll for the week to seven.

In another incident, a 59-year-old motorcyclist died in a collision with a car about 30km east of Normanton on Normanton-Croydon Rd on Wednesday.

Last Tuesday, a 66-year-old female cyclist died following a crash with a car at a roundabout on the intersection of Pelican Water Boulevard and Sir Joseph Banks Drive at Pelican Waters and a 37-year-old Inala woman died in a two-vehicle collision on Muriel Ave in Moorooka.


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