An up-and-coming swimmer and his mother have been hospitalised following an ‘absolutely horrific’ crash that tragically killed his twin brother.
Austin Edwards-Bland, 12, his brother Stirling and mother Tracy, were struck by another vehicle on the Bruce Highway near Queensland’s Gregory River at about 6:40pm on Sunday.
The family had been travelling south to their Cannonvale home following a sports carnival in Townsville when a Nissan Patrol travelling north collided with their Toyota RAV4 in the southbound lane.
Stirling died at the scene, while Austin suffered a serious pelvic fracture.
Austin Edwards-Bland, (left) his brother Stirling (right) and mother Tracy, were struck by another vehicle on the Bruce Highway near Queensland’s Gregory River
The family had been travelling south to their Cannonvale home when a Nissan Patrol travelling north collided with their Toyota RAV4 in the southbound lane
He and his mother were taken to Proserpine Hospital by ambulance in a stable condition with Austin later airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital where he remains.
Ms Edward-Bland and the driver of the Nissan Patrol, who suffered chest pain, have since been discharged from hospital.
Swimming North Queensland took to Facebook on Tuesday to extend their condolences to one of their ‘valued swimming families’.
‘It is with a heavy heart, Swimming North Queensland Management extend out heartfelt condolences to one of our valued swimming families,’ a statement read.
‘A Cannonvale (Cannons) Swimming Club family had a tragic encounter as they returned home from the NQ Games meet.
‘Tragically, a life was lost and other family members were hospitalised. On behalf of SNQ, we extend our prayers, thoughts and love to the family in this difficult time.’
The post was quickly flooded with messages from the heartbroken community.
While Stirling had stopped competing, his twin brother Austin (pictured) is a talented swimmer who regularly wins gold for the Cannons Swimming Club
Swimming North Queensland took to Facebook on Tuesday to extend their condolences to one of their ‘valued swimming families’. Pictured are the twins.
Mackay Forensic Crash Unit Senior Constable Michael Parker said drink-driving would be one of several lines of investigation (pictured is the scene of the crash on Sunday)
‘Hearts are breaking amongst our small community, no words can express how devastating this tragedy is,’ one woman wrote.
‘So very heartbreaking. Deepest sympathies to the family,’ another said.
While Stirling had stopped competing, his twin brother Austin regularly wins gold for the Cannons Swimming Club, the Courier Mail reports.
The swimmer last month won all his freestyle events at the North Queensland Championships and has competed in the state’s School Sport Championships.
The Forensic Crash Unit will investigate the circumstances of the collision with witnesses or drivers with dashcam footage urged to contact police.
Mackay Forensic Crash Unit Senior Constable Michael Parker said drink-driving would be one of several lines of investigation.
Officers are still waiting for the toxicology results for both drivers.
Austin Edwards-Bland (pictured right) remains in Mackay Base Hospital after suffering a pelvic fracture in the horror crash on Sunday night
Proserpine firefighter Brian Little described the crash scene as ‘traumatising’.
‘It’s a tragedy, you know. This is a terrible time. Somebody is not going to have a great night and it shouldn’t be happening,’ he told 7NEWS.
Central Queensland Helicopter Rescue, which airlifted Austin to Mackay Base Hospital said the incident was an ‘absolutely horrific tragedy’.
‘Please send your prayers and strength to the family and friends of all those involved,’ a Facebook post read.
The rescue service described the tragedy as a ‘horror end to the weekend’ which saw crews dispatched seven times across the Mackay Whitsunday region.