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Early morning crashes cause major highway delays

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The Bruce Highway was closed for more than three hours this morning following crashes both north and southbound.

Twelve people were injured in the accidents, which occurred during commuter hour and as some families tried to make an early start on the school holidays.

The traffic mayhem began when 10 vehicles crashed in the southbound lanes at about 6.20am, but it is unclear if they were involved in one or two accidents.

Senior Sergeant Brett Young said a B-double semi-trailer was one of the vehicles involved in the incident.

“We believe a truck had pulled over to the side of the road and a motorist had slowed to observe the truck pulled over to the side of the road and inadvertently caused the collision,” Snr Sgt Young said.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said 10 people received minor injuries. Five were transferred to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and three to Caboolture Hospital.

Snr Sgt Young said that while police were attending the crash in the southbound lanes, a five-vehicle crash occurred in the northbound lanes opposite.

“A motorcycle has collided with another vehicle and then with the guard rail and has unfortunately gone over the guard rail and sustained critical injuries,” he said.

A Lifeflight helicopter statement said it was believed a car collided with the back of the woman’s motorcycle, causing her to lose control and crash.

The Lifeflight pilot and aircrew landed the helicopter on southbound lanes of the highway that were closed by police and the aeromedical crew worked with QAS paramedics before airlifting the woman to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital for further treatment.

The woman, in her 50s, reportedly suffered leg and chest injuries and is in a critical condition.

A QAS spokesman said another person received minor injuries.

RACQ LifeFlight airlifted a woman to hospital after the crash. Picture: RACQ LifeFlight.

Snr Sgt Young did not outline how all five vehicles were involved in the northbound crash.

He said inattention could be a reason but the forensic crash unit was investigating and no charges had been laid as yet.

Traffic was diverted along Roys Road and the Steve Irwin Way but motorists were told they could still expect delays.

The delays were compounded when a vehicle subsequently rolled on Roys Road.

The traffic nightmares continued when a vehicle crashed into a fence and caught fire on Johnston Road, Glasshouse Mountains, just about 9.15am. QAS took one person to SCUH with smoke inhalation.

The highway was re-opened to southbound traffic at about 9.30am but the northbound side opened partially at 10.15am but was not fully open fully until 11.30am.

Snr Sgt Young urged drivers to be careful on the roads during the school holidays, which begin this weekend.

“Drive to the conditions, drive to the speed limit. Keep distance. If a vehicle slows down in front of you, slow down behind and just obey the (rules about the) fatal five, and make sure you have situational awareness when driving on the highway.”

Picture: Shutterstock.

The “fatal five” referred to by police are the causes of most road crashes: speeding, drink or drug driving, failing to seatbelts, and driving while distracted.

Snr Sgt Young said extensive police resources would be deployed on the highway during the school holidays to ensure motorists did the right thing.

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