‘True warrior’: Family despair over Bruce Hwy deaths
A HORRIFIC crash that ripped a van in half has claimed the lives of two Townsville men and left another in a critical condition.
Mundingburra man John Van Stelten, 58, and Alice River man Mark Dunstan, 57, were killed instantly when a truck collided with their van on the Bruce Highway Tuesday morning.
Mr Van Stelten has been described by friends as a "true noble warrior" and "authentic friend" with "the biggest heart of pure gold".
Kelso man Johannes Van Stelten, 37, is believed to be in a critical condition at Townsville University Hospital after being transferred from Mackay yesterday.
The three men, joined by another 31-year-old Gympie man, were hit by the B-double truck 100km south of Mackay on Tuesday while performing a U-turn about 4am.
A spokesman from Queensland Police Media said both vehicles were travelling north on the highway when the van pulled over and tried to complete a U-turn.
The truck collided with their turning van.
All four men were travelling in Mr John Van Stelten's work van he used for his business, Excalibur Home Services.
The Ross River Rd storefront was closed yesterday, with a sign on the door stating it would be closed until further notice for "bereavement".
Photos from the crash scene show the van had been split into two pieces from the force of the impact.
The windscreen on the truck was shattered. The 52-year-old truck driver was treated for minor injuries at the scene.
The road was closed for a number of hours yesterday while the rescue helicopter picked up patients.
A spokeswoman from RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service said the injured men were taken to Mackay base Hospital for treatment.
She described their injuries as "horrific".
"One was bleeding out rapidly and would never have survived transport without the blood," she said.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the past week had been the deadliest on Queensland roads so far this year with 21 people killed.
"These tragedies are a reminder to all of us about how quickly conditions can change on the road," Mr Bailey said.
Mr Johannes Van Stelten is believed to have been flown to Townsville University Hospital yesterday evening in a critical condition.
The Gympie man remains at Mackay Base Hospital in a serious but stable condition.