A MORNING school run has turned to tragedy for a family from the Toowoomba area after a 37-year-old woman was killed in a collision with a crane truck.
Her death marked a tragic horror day on the region's roads which also included a serious, head-on collision west of Warwick.
A Clifton man, who did not want to be named, was travelling north with his brother in a car behind the family when the crash occurred on the city's southern outskirts at Top Camp about 8.20am.
He said the family car was doing a safe speed in the wet conditions when they rounded a bend to see an oncoming crane truck.
"He just kept fishtailing and ran off the side of the road here and all of a sudden jutted back across the road and wiped her out," the man said.
"We got showered in the debris."
The man said he was first on the scene to find the mother had died of her injuries.
"Then a young boy, he would have been about five or six, just dropped out of the back of the vehicle."
He said he and another man comforted a child in the back seat while other passers-by tended to the other children.
"I'm going to have nightmares for years."
He said all of the children were wearing school uniforms.
The 35-year-old truck driver, also from the Toowoomba area, was taken to Toowoomba Hospital to be treated for minor back injuries.
His truck came to rest in a paddock beside the highway.
The highway was closed until the early afternoon while police investigated the scene.
Officers would not comment yesterday on the cause of the crash.
The mother was the 25th person to die on Darling Downs roads this year.
Her children, a five-year-old boy, seven-year-old girl and 11-year-old girl, were yesterday rushed from the horrific scene on the New England Hwy to Toowoomba Hospital.
Queensland Ambulance Service representative Inspector Stephen Johns said the five-year-old suffered a significant head injury, chest injuries, multiple limb fractures and a fractured pelvis.
He said the seven-year-old sustained a head injury and fractures to her right arm and leg as well as probable chest and abdominal injuries.
Their 11-year-old sister suffered neck pain and minor injuries.
A Toowoomba Hospital spokeswoman said two children were yesterday listed as being in a critical condition while a third had been discharged.
There have been 16 more people killed on Darling Downs roads compared to this time last year.
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