‘Lifetime of heartache’ as crash claims son
THE family of a seven-year-old boy killed in a fiery truck crash near Toowoomba say they are preparing for a "lifetime of heartache" without their "angel".
Ryan Pringle was killed when the truck his father, Ben Pringle, was driving crashed into another truck before overturning and bursting into flames just two days after Christmas.
Mr Pringle was taken to Toowoomba Hospital where he remains in a serious condition with head injuries and burns, but sadly Ryan could not be saved and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 62-year-old driver of the other truck was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in a critical but stable condition where he has received surgery for some of his injuries.
Ryan's heartbroken grandmother Ingred Impekoven said her grandson had wanted to be with his dad while he was working on an overnight run.
She took to Facebook yesterday to tell of the family's tragic loss, writing "my grandson is the angel who has gone to heaven".
"Now it's a lifetime of heartache," she wrote.
Ms Impekoven later told media the family was devastated by the loss of their "beautiful boy".
"Ryan was a beautiful, beautiful boy who loved his dad very much. His dad loved him and he'll be very, very sadly missed, and life won't be the same for all of us," she said.
"His mum is beside herself of course, and all of his siblings."
Police inspector Graeme Paine said yesterday initial investigations suggested both trucks were headed south when the truck in front, driven by a 62-year-old man, attempted to turn into a side street.
Mr Pringle was driving a CB Metcalf Transport truck at the time of the crash, which happened about 5pm on Thursday on the Gore Highway, west of Toowoomba.
CB Metcalf Transport owner Chris Metcalf told The Courier-Mail Mr Pringle had only been working for the company for about two months.
"He's done everything the proper way. It's just a total freak accident," he said.
"Ben is still in hospital with a broken leg and lacerations.
"Personally, I don't know how you would get over something like this."
Acting Roads Minister Craig Crawford described the incident as a tragedy, and said his thoughts were with Ryan's family and friends.
"This time of year, there are more people on our roads more often and I'd urge all drivers to take care and drive safely. We don't want any more tragedies," he said.
Acting Inspector Chris Smith Road Policing Command urged motorists to slow down and travel to the conditions.
"If travelling long distances, drivers should factor in breaks in their expected travel times," he said.
Inspector Paine said the investigation would take into account all aspects of the road.
"It's a tragic situation all around. Those people on scene initially did all they could," he said.
Road fatalities in the area have increased from 15 last year to 17 this year, Insp Paine confirmed today.
In 2015 there were 13 road fatalities.