Mum dies in smash, baby saved by truckie
A TRUCKIE has been hailed a hero for freeing a 10-month-old baby from a fiery crash, which killed the baby's young mother, on the Cunningham Highway at Aratula.
The horrific crash between a semi-trailer and sedan occurred near the turn-off to Lake Moogerah Rd about 9.30pm on Thursday, closing the Cunningham Highway in both directions for nearly 24 hours .
The 21-year-old mother from Forster, New South Wales, was turning into the driveway of her mother's house when the semi-trailer collided with the car.
Her baby was in the back seat.
A passing truck driver stopped and rescued the infant from the sedan before the wreck burst into flames. The vehicle, the truck and its first trailer were incinerated.
The young mother was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ipswich District Inspector Charysse Pond praised the truckie, who is from New South Wales, for his heroic actions.
"He pulled up shortly after the accident occurred and heard the baby crying and pulled her from the wreckage," Insp Pond said.
"We recognise his bravery and that he stopped. In doing so, he's saved the baby's life."
She said a report was being prepared for the coroner and the Forensic Crash Unit would continue to investigate the cause of the crash.
Police Inspector Keith McDonald said initial investigations suggested the driver was not familiar with her surroundings, particularly at night, and there may have been a moment of inattention by the truck driver.
The baby was taken to the Mater Children's Hospital for observation, and is reportedly doing "fine", while the 38-year-old truck driver was taken to Ipswich Hospital to be treated for shock.
The baby's father was at a house at Lake Moogerah at the time of the crash and was taken by police to the Mater Children's Hospital to be with his daughter.
The 21-year-old woman had recently moved with her young family to the area.