'Mum and dad are dead': crash victim, 7, found running
RESCUERS have told how a seven-year-old girl - the sole survivor of a fiery triple fatal crash - was found running down a lonely Outback road crying "Mum and Dad are dead".
Her hair singed and burnt, with an injured shoulder, the little girl miraculously escaped a deadly fireball that killed her parents and a sibling after their vehicle rolled and exploded into flames yesterday.
"She saw it all,'' a resident told the Cairns Post. "The little girl was lucid, awake, the whole time of the accident.
"How she got out alive was a miracle.
"She was running down the road, bits of smoke coming off her, beautifully dressed in town clothes and shoes, crying out 'Mum and Dad are dead, Mum and Dad are dead'.''
Police said the Holden Commodore crashed on Wills Developmental Road about 40km north of Gregory, four hours' drive north of Mount Isa, in remote far northwest Queensland at about 6.15am yesterday.
"It was a fireball, an absolutely horrific scene," said another resident, who asked not to be named. "The vehicle was completely incinerated with the bodies of the others trapped inside.
"My heart crumples to think of what that sweet little innocent girl had to witness.''
Nearby station owners took the child to their homestead for a shower and put her to bed to sleep before she was flown by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to the Mount Isa Hospital where she is in a stable condition.
The well-known Aboriginal family of four, of the tiny indigenous town of Doomadgee, was headed home when tragedy struck.
"Anyone who was at the scene is devastated,'' a local said.
"It's extremely traumatic. It has rocked us all to the core - our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the little girl.''
Mount Isa Police Acting Superintendent Chris Hodgman said police were still working to formally identify the bodies of the three victims and notify relatives.
Forensic Crash Unit officers are investigating and the wreckage will be towed to Doomadgee police station to undergo a full examination.
Burke Mayor Ernie Camp said it was a tragedy.
"We definitely want to express sympathy from the Burke Shire to the family and best wishes to what appears to be the sole survivor," he said.
"Also to the emergency services … They're obviously affected by these things as well."