Car smashes dinosaur – can it come back to life?
BALLANDEAN residents are hopeful Fruitisforus, the township's iconic dinosaur statue, can get the facelift it needs after a car smashed into the statue late on Tuesday night.
Resident Pam Bates just got into bed when she heard a loud bang.
"I thought it was a car crash, I had only just gone to sleep and the noise woke me up," she said.
Mrs Bates said it was around 10.30pm when she and husband Erwin ventured outside with a torch to find an explanation for the noise.
After finding no crashed cars, the couple discovered the statue had been damaged.
"I thought it could have been some fool from the pub but the pub was shut and there was no one around," Mrs Bates said.
The damage to the statue is quite extensive.
"Half of his face is ripped off," Mrs Bates said.
"It is a shame because it is such an icon; everyone pulls up to take photos of their kids with it.
"I hope they are able to put his face back on."
Ballandean Australia Post office postal manager Heather Watters described the incident as awful.
"I really hope it wasn't done on purpose," she said.
"The statue has been damaged before and his ear and nose have been repaired but I'm not sure if he can come back from this one."
Stanthorpe police officer in charge Mark Ireland said he was unsure if it was intentional.
Senior Sergeant Ireland said it was obvious a vehicle had left the road 60m before the statue and travelled along the grass, hit the statue and then re-entered the road some distance down.
"They have obviously hit the kerb fairly hard, according to the tyre marks," he said.
"Due to it being a sweeping bend, it is possible that someone travelling at night may have lost control."
Snr Sgt Ireland said the incident would be dealt with as accidental pending evidence that proved otherwise.