Greg McDonald with son George and the ripped remains of the campsite where the incident occured on Saturday morning.
Greg McDonald with son George and the ripped remains of the campsite where the incident occured on Saturday morning. Nat Bromhead

Two men in tent run over by 4WD

HOLIDAYMAKERS at a remote campsite in the Tuan State Forest have given an amazing first-hand account of a freak accident whereby a man drove a LandCruiser over a tent in which two men were sleeping.

The incident occurred at remote Hedleys campground near Kauri Creek in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The camping ground is about an hour’s drive out of Maryborough.

Witnesses at the scene said the late model LandCruiser ute that ran over the tent was driven by a friend of the two men sleeping inside.

A 73-year-old man suffered serious internal injuries, including a broken pelvis, and was later airlifted from the scene.

The second occupant of the tent escaped with only minor injuries.

Shocked campers rushed to the severely injured man’s rescue as the driver of the vehicle was restrained by a witness.

The driver reportedly broke free and left the scene but was located by police at 7am on Saturday.

Greg McDonald, partner Kym Byles and their young children were camping at a neighbouring site.

They said the driver of the vehicle had visited them after his two friends had gone to sleep earlier in the night.

“He came over and had a chat here about 11pm then went back to his site. After midnight we heard his LandCruiser start then watched in shock as it lurched forward. He drove straight over the tent and into the bush. She then heard the elderly man in the tent “screaming and squealing in pain,” Ms Byles said.

Mr McDonald said he rushed to detain the driver of the ute.

“I thought he was going to reverse back over the tent. So I stopped him and held him there,” he said.

Ms Byles and other campers tended to the severely injured man, cutting him from the tent so he could breathe.

The other occupant of the tent ran almost a kilometre to a caretaker’s cottage to make the desperate call to ambulance and police.

GPS co-ordinates from a camper’s boat were relayed to emergency services to help pinpoint the exact location.

Ms Byles said paramedics and police arrived in a four-wheel-drive ambulance within an hour.

During that time, she said, she nursed and comforted the injured man. “I tore part of my dress off to try to stem the bleeding from his legs.

“I kept talking to him, reassuring him. It was just instinct to keep him awake and alive, he was in so much pain,” she said.

Sergeant Paul Behne from Maryborough police said the elderly man had received significant injuries and was airlifted from Tinnanbar to Nambour hospital.

Yesterday morning he was transferred from Nambour to the Royal Brisbane Hospital where he remains in a serious condition.

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