Twins Jessica and Grace Hornby.
Twins Jessica and Grace Hornby.

Brain cancer claims crash twins’ father Michael Hornby

MICHAEL Hornby, who campaigned tirelessly for improved road safety after the death of his twin five-year-old girls in an accident at Woombye in 2009, succumbed to cancer while receiving treatment in hospital yesterday.

The Gourmet Garden systems controller stopped driving himself immediately after being told recently that the cancer in his neck had spread to his brain.

After the death of his girls Grace and Jessica, Mr Hornby launched a Road Smart Day, which aimed to improve road safety in Queensland.

He campaigned for the government to introduce double demerit points at peak holiday times - a strategy that was in place this past Australia Day weekend.

About two years ago, his brother died in a trucking accident.

Mr Hornby became a member of Road Trauma Services Queensland, established in 2002 to provide free confidential counselling services to those affected by road trauma.

He was tireless in his support of two nurse whistleblowers who raised allegations about the treatment given to mental health patients at Sunshine Coast Private Hospital by two psychiatrists.

Mr Hornby became involved when it was found that the driver of the vehicle that crashed at night, without lights, into the car carrying his daughters and his mother-in-law, Denise Mansell, had been prescribed a cocktail of drugs by one of the psychiatrists. Known as "Huck" to his mates, Mr Hornby was a passionate supporter of the NSW State of Origin team.

Michael Hornby encouraging drivers to be less selfish on the road on Fatality Free Friday.
Michael Hornby encouraging drivers to be less selfish on the road on Fatality Free Friday.

Even after he became aware of the extent of his condition 10 days ago, he declared "things not good mate, but there's fight in this Blues boy yet".

On New Year's Eve he texted friends "to have fun and take care, love you all".

He is survived by his wife Kelly and daughters Caitlin and Alice.