Three-year-old girl killed in Esk road tragedy

FAMILY TRAGEDY: Amiee, Zachary, Aurora and Sam Luder were involved in Saturday night’s crash near Esk.
FAMILY TRAGEDY: Amiee, Zachary, Aurora and Sam Luder were involved in Saturday night’s crash near Esk. Contributed

AURORA Luder will be forever remembered as a "bright spark who lit up the room wherever she went".

The three-year-old was killed in a horrific head-on collision at Buaraba, just outside Esk, Saturday night.

Her mum and dad - Amiee and Sam - and her older brother Zachary, 4, were all injured in the crash, which happened at the intersection of Gatton-Esk Rd and Buaraba Creek Rd about 7.55pm.

Tributes flowed for Aurora yesterday, with a Facebook page set up by the toddler's aunt Sheridan Luder and Amiee's long-time friend Rachelle Torrens who recalled a happy and energetic girl.

"Aurora was a bright spark that lit up the room wherever she went. She was a real live wire. Aurora loved getting in there and giving anything a go, despite her young age of three," Ms Torrens said.

"Aurora was an intelligent little girl who loved to get her hands dirty. Aurora was so excited about starting kindy next year. She was actually more excited to start kindy than she was about Christmas.

"Whether it was riding motorbikes with her dad and Zach, or holding her baby cousin Axel, beneath that tomboy exterior was a gentle, loving and caring little girl who would always look out for those she loved."

Police are investigating whether a Toyota Camry driven by a 24-year-old man crossed onto the wrong side of the road, before it and the Mitsubishi Lancer containing the young family collided. Aurora died at the scene.

Her mother was taken by emergency chopper to the Royal Brisbane Hospital with a broken arm, along with son Zachary, who sustained a fractured collarbone.

Mr Luder sustained cuts and bruises and was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Zachary was released from hospital yesterday.

Police said the Camry caught fire after the impact.

The driver was able to free himself before the flames took hold.

He was later taken to Gatton Hospital with a knee injury.

Inspector Keith McDonald said police took a blood sample from the driver - the results of which will not be known for some time.

Attention yesterday turned to the young family.

Sheridan Luder and Ms Torrens started the Bright Star Facebook page to appeal for financial assistance.

A bank account is being set up for public donations.

Ms Torrens said Mr and Mrs Luder and son Zachary were suffering extensive injuries and would need time to heal.

"They are both hard-working people who are paying off a mortgage," she said.

"It's hard to think about them having to go home and stress about everyday things."

Ms Torrens said there had already been a huge response to the accident - particularly in the Esk area, where the Luder family was well known.

It is the second time a traffic crash tragedy has affected the family. Sam's mother and father were killed in an accident several years ago.

"Amiee and Sam are really generous people and as a small town we get behind each other because it affects all of us," Ms Torrens said.

"As a community, we will do all we can to help them."

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Topics:  editors picks traffic collision

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