Horseback helpers at scene of cattle truck crash
FOR QFES Inspector Warren Buckley, it was the first cattle truck rollover in 27 years where drovers were on the scene rounding up cattle before the firies arrived.
Warra resident Shelly Frame had been driving home from the vet with her two horses when she happened upon the crash on Thursday.
The driver of the truck was walking around barefoot, sobbing and in shock.
Mrs Frame and another man – who had watched the truck go over in front of his vehicle – checked the truck for fuel leaks “in case it was about to get a heck of a lot more urgent”.
“Cattle were already breaking out by that stage and then the (driver) asked if I could find someone with horses,” she said.
At first assisted by a passing gentleman and his horse, Mrs Frame and her friend Emma Hyde then spent the rest of the afternoon mustering cattle and rounding them up in a nearby paddock.
But what annoyed Mrs Frame most was that despite the fact there were startled cattle running all over the highway, cars and trucks simply weren’t stopping to let them do their work.
“Everyone was putting in and trying to help where they could except the people in the vehicles – they just had no idea,” she said.
As the two women mustered the escaped cattle, council workers and firefighters from Jandowae, Chinchilla and the Toowoomba heavy rescue team worked to free the remaining beasts from rolled truck.
Among them was Chinchilla firefighter Hayley Wolski, who during a lull took a moment to observe the impact of the accident.
“I’ve been to a few (cattle truck rollovers),” she said.
“That wasn’t the worst one I’ve been to. I like animals, that’s the hard part.
“I don’t know if it gets easier but you try not to think about it. It doesn’t bother me afterwards but at the time I think I’m not going to eat meat for a while, but the next day I’m back into it.”
Roughly 20 cattle were either killed in the accident or had to be put down afterwards due to their injuries.
Police said the truck was travelling from Taroom to Kilcoy.
They are still investigating the cause of the accident.
The driver was taken to Chinchilla Hospital with minor injuries.