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23 May, 2021


DRIVE like your life, and that of those you love, depends on it.

That’s the message being touted by our region’s rescuers during National Road Safety Week, from May 16 to 23.

Since January, the Mackay-based rescue helicopter service RACQ CQ Rescue has completed 18 missions airlifting people with serious and life-threatening injuries as a result of motor vehicle accidents on our region’s road.

This includes the transfer of 22-year-old Peter Stowers, who was critically injured when the ute he was driving collided with a semi-trailer on the Peak Downs Highway at Coppabella in Central Queensland about 8am on April 27.

Mr Stowers, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, had to be cut from the wreckage and was flown by RACQ CQ Rescue to Mackay Base Hospital. It was understood he had finished work near Moranbah and was headed home when the horror accident occurred, which resulted in his arm being amputated.

Workmate Scott McIntosh said Mr Stowers' friends and colleagues wanted to help in some way, and after speaking with his family, decided to fundraise for RACQ CQ Rescue, which assisted in saving their friend's life.

"They were able to give him blood at the scene and fly to hospital, but without those two things he probably wouldn't have survived," Mr McIntosh said.

Life is still a daily struggle for another Mackay couple who are haunted by the sound of helicopter blades after a horrific motor vehicle accident on the Bruce Highway a decade ago.

“We never imagined we would ever need to use the rescue helicopter but are just so glad they were here and available when we needed them after our accident,” Erakala woman Vicki Wilson said.

“I really want people to know that without RACQ CQ Rescue there would be a lot of people not alive today due to road trauma. They will always be close to my heart and very high on my list of organisations so very worthy of support. I thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their help that day 10 years ago,” she said.

“I also really want people to realise that life is tough after a major accident and that the health problems can be ongoing. We just have to take one day at a time, manage our pain, try to look on the positive side as much as possible and be thankful we are still here today,” Vicki said.


RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said the rate of people dying on our roads this year was truly staggering and we must not forget those who’re seriously injured in these crashes, many of whom will never fully recover.

“While RACQ CQ Rescue crews do a phenomenal job saving lives on Queensland roads, we’d rather you didn’t have to meet them so we’re asking all motorists to drive like their lives depend on it,” she said.

“So please don’t speed, don’t be distracted behind the wheel, don’t drive if you’re tired or have been drinking, and make sure everybody is wearing a seatbelt.

“Whether you’re in a vehicle, on a motorbike or on a bicycle think about what you’re doing on the roads, pay attention to the changing road conditions and show some courtesy towards other road users,” Ms Hunter said.

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