'My heart sinks' as their world turned upside down
THEY are the most horrific deaths you could imagine and for the men and women on the emergency frontline, every road fatality is a tragedy of unimaginable proportion.
It never gets any easier for police to deliver news about the death of a much-loved family member and there is always heartache for the ambulance officer forced to witness trauma far outside their job description,
This year, 246 people have been killed on Queensland roads and countless others injured. They are statistics to most but the faces of victims and families to Warwick Police Sergeant Matt Pike and paramedic Jamie Taylor.
Mr Taylor said this time of year was the most difficult to erase memories of a fatal car accident.
"Everyone is travelling to see someone during the Christmas break and when I'm attending a road accident, whether it's someone who has died or badly injured, I think of the person they were driving to see," Mr Taylor said.
"They don't know yet their loved one has passed away or been injured; my heart sinks knowing that a whole lot of lives are about to be turned upside down."
Mr Taylor said while paramedics weren't usually tasked with delivering the tragic news to immediate relatives, traffic fatalities never make for a normal day on the job.
"We have to carry on with our jobs but by remembering the impact a road fatality has on so many lives, it makes you want to save more lives."
Sergeant Pike said 2016 had been a better year than most on Southern Downs roads meaning less of the type of door knocks police dread.
"People are getting the message about drink-driving but simply not paying attention and speeding are still key reasons for deaths on the roads at this time of year," Sgt Pike said.
"The tragedy is that nearly all road deaths are preventable, putting your life and others at risk by speeding to get your destination 10 minutes quicker makes no sense at all."
Both the Warwick Police and Ambulance Service have thrown their support behind the Daily News' holiday road safety campign, Give...Don't Grieve where we remind motorists what this time of year is supposed to be about - giving, not grieving.
Keep an eye out for more of our road safety coverage in the coming weeks.