Horror crash shatters church community

Facebook image of Michale Chandler who died in a car crash in Maryborough
Facebook image of Michale Chandler who died in a car crash in Maryborough

A church leader who was close to the victims of a horror car crash in Maryborough says he is struggling to make sense of the tragedy.

The community of Queensland’s Fraser Coast has been thrown into mourning after three women were killed and another left fighting for her life after a stolen Mercedes allegedly driven by a 13-year-old crashed into a Holden which then crashed into a third car.

Michale Chandler, 29, and Kelsie Davies, 17, were in a Holden and died at the scene. A third woman in the same vehicle is now at Royal Brisbane Hospital in a critical condition.

Michale Chandler’s husband Matthew first act after hearing of her death was to call the church’s leader in anguish.
Michale Chandler’s husband Matthew first act after hearing of her death was to call the church’s leader in anguish.
Kelsie Davies, 17, also died in the collision.
Kelsie Davies, 17, also died in the collision.

The woman driving the third vehicle, Torquay nurse Sheree Robertson, 52, also died at the scene.

Pastor Darren Hayhoe who led the two women at the Reach Church has described the moment he received a call from Ms Chandler’s husband Matthew who told him that his wife had been killed.

“It‘s not something that you expect to hear at 12 o’clock at night that you just lost two of the most important people in your life,” Pastor Hayhoe said on A Current Affair.

He’s been left with endless questions after the incident that has changed their community forever.

“Even a man in my position, I’m asking the question why?” he said.

“It does not make sense how something like this, so tragic, can take place.”

Unveiled CCTV footage of an alleged car theft taken hours before the crash shows two boys breaking into a vehicle before driving off.

Reach Church Fraser Coast pastor Darron Hayhoe has spoken out about the tragic event. Photo: Facebook
Reach Church Fraser Coast pastor Darron Hayhoe has spoken out about the tragic event. Photo: Facebook

Ms Chandler had been made an accredited pastor alongside her husband a little over a year ago, and leaves behind two sons who will now grow up without their mother.

“Michale Chandler was and is one of the most phenomenal young ladies that I know … she was just simply a special, special lady that loved people intentionally and purposefully,” Pastor Hayhoe said in a social media post addressing the crash.

Ms Davies was an intern at the church and had only graduated high school in 2022, and despite her young age, Pastor Hayhoe said she was “truly an inspirational young lady”

“It sucks, it really does that this young lady hasn’t got the opportunity to live,” he said.

“But I want to say something about her that even at 17 she has left a legacy in the hearts and lives of all the younger women in our church.”

The sole survivor from the Holden, 23-year-old Kaylah Behrens, has been left fighting for life after the incident.

Her husband has not left her bedside where she lies in an induced coma.

“He reassures me that she’s fighting hard, and we’re praying and we’re supporting both of them in this journey,” Pastor Hayhoe said.

A GoFundMe campaign has started for the families of those involved in the crash and funeral expenses for those lost.

It has currently raised $22,026 of its $100,000 goal.

The 13-year-old boy has been charged with dangerous driving causing death following the crash.