Family of six in deadly crash identified
The couple whose car plunged into a Queensland dam, taking the lives of two young children, have been named as Dylan Wadley and Mel Martin.
Dylan, 23 had only recently proposed to 33-year-old Mel, before they welcomed their newborn baby, Hope, into the world five weeks ago.
Now their family-of-six has been torn apart after the horror crash which occurred southwest of Brisbane on Sunday afternoon, Kidspot reports.
Dylan and Mel were travelling with their two children, and Mel's two older children, from Pimpama on the Gold Coast to their home in Pratten about 2pm when their car broke through a road barrier, rolled down an embankment and flipped on its roof into Wyralong Dam southwest of Brisbane.
The couple were able to escape their submerged car with their five-week old daughter, Hope, and one-year-old son, Ace, but tragically struggled to open the car to save Ms Martin's 13-year-old son Leo, and four-year-old daughter Mia, despite desperate efforts by Dylan.
Inspector Douglas McDonald said the car had been travelling along a straight stretch of Beaudesert Boonah Road about 2pm when it veered to the left and crashed into a guard rail.
Inspector McDonald said the vehicle then skidded onto the other side of the road and crashed into a second guard rail before rolling down a stone embankment.
"It came to rest on its roof in a semi-submerged position," he said on Monday.
Inspector McDonald said the two adults extracted themselves and some of the children from the car.
"Unfortunately, those two children (who died) were trapped in the vehicle longer than the other occupants," he said.
"There was some difficulty getting some of the doors open to the vehicle."
Warwick State High School addressed the tragedy in a school newsletter sent home to parents on Monday.
"Ours thoughts and sincere sympathies go out to their family, caregivers, friends and loved ones during this difficult time," principal Joy Craig wrote.
The children's great grandmother also posted about the tragedy in an attempt to raise funds for the family, the newspaper said.
"My grandson, partner and children were in a tragic car accident today ...two children didn't survive and a third child (is) in a critical condition.
"Grandson has serious leg injuries and is going to surgery tomorrow morning," she wrote.
The Queensland Department of Education added that support was being provided to students and staff, and guidance counsellors will remain at both schools to provide support in any way they can and for as long as it is needed.
The tragedy has rocked the local community in Pratten.
Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Vic Pennisi told Seven News: "We will wrap our arms around them. They are part of the community an at time like this, we all step up."
'REALLY TRAUMATIC' SCENES
Inspector McDonald said passers-by performed CPR on the children once they had been removed, but they died at the scene.
"It's really traumatic for our first responders and also for the members of the public who stopped," he said.
Inspector McDonald said investigators still didn't know what caused the crash, but alcohol was not believed to be involved.
Child seats were also found in the vehicle, and all occupants were understood to be wearing seatbelts.
Inspector McDonald said the family, from Pratten near Warwick, were travelling home from Pimpama on the Gold Coast.
"Fatigue is a really big killer on our roads, and that's certainly part of our investigation for this matter," he said.
Police have spoken briefly to the male driver and female passenger, but formal conversations are yet to take place.
The pair is expected to undergo surgery on Monday for non-life-threatening injuries.
Anyone travelling in the area on Sunday afternoon and who may have dashcam footage is urged to contact police.
Originally published as Family of six in deadly crash identified