Community's heartwarming gesture for victims of dam crash

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·2-min read

A small town is rallying around a family after a horrible crash that left two siblings dead and a toddler fighting for life.

Thirteen-year-old Leo and and four-year-old Mia died after the car carrying six people veered off Beaudesert Boonah Road and into Wyaralong Dam, in Queensland’s southeast, just after 2pm (AEST) Sunday.

Mel Martin, 33, and Dylan Wadley, 23, were driving with the four children from Pimpama on the Gold Coast back home to Pratten at the time of the crash.

Pratten is home to only 200 residents, but the community has vowed to turn out in droves for the community’s annual Christmas party to donate money in support of the family.

Leo, 13, and Mia, 4, were killed in the incident. Source: Facebook
Leo, 13, and Mia, 4, were killed in the incident. Source: Facebook

The Pratten Progress and Preservation Association will host the event on Saturday afternoon and has called on people to “come along to give”.

“It would be nice to have lots of people just coming along to donate! Please come - and share the concept with your friends and neighbours,” a post to the group’s Facebook page read.

Those planning to attend have been asked to comply with coronavirus rules and social distance, and not share food or drinks.

“We all want to stay safe, so social distancing will be in order. But after all that is done, it is still pretty easy to either come inside for the event - or come just to donate for the family of the children who died in the dam,” the page read.

Mr Wadley and Ms Martin were able to free themselves and two of their children - their newborn daughter and one-year-old son - but Ms Martin’s two other children remained trapped.

The family of six plunged into the dam on their way home to Pratten. Source: Nine News
The family of six plunged into the dam on their way home to Pratten. Source: Nine News

“Unfortunately, those two children were trapped in the vehicle longer than the other occupants,” Inspector Doug McDonald told reporters on Monday.

He said the car veered into a barrier on the left side of the road at high speed then “skewed across to the opposite side”.

Police said a potential cause for the incident could have been driver fatigue.

The surviving children remain in hospital. The boy is in a stable condition and the girl suffered no serious injuries.

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