FLASHBACK: Wreaths laid at the site of the fatal crash …  two of the four children killed were students from Kawungan State School

May 31, 2023

An inquest opened in Brisbane on Wednesday into the fiery crash which killed five people – and shocked Kumbia residents and emergency workers – four years ago.

The high-speed crash on the Bunya Highway claimed the lives of Fraser Coast mother Charmaine McLeod and her four young children, Aaleyn, Matilda, Wyatt and Zaidok on May 27, 2019.

Coroner Kerrie O’Callaghan will be presiding over the inquest, which has been set down for 17 days.

The incident occurred near the Mannuem Road turn-off, about seven kilometres south of Kumbia.

Emergency services were called to the horrific scene about 7:20pm.

Preliminary investigations at the time indicated a Nissan SUV was travelling south when it pulled out.

The car then hit an oncoming semi-trailer head-on.

The driver of the truck, a 47-year-old local man, was taken to Kingaroy Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Among other things, the Coroner will consider:

  • The appropriateness and adequacy of the police responses to the complaints of domestic and family violence and allegations of abuse made by Charmaine McLeod against her and her children.
  • The appropriateness and adequacy of the mental health responses by Queensland Health, associated entities and service providers responsible for Charmaine McLeod’s care, treatment and monitoring as well as their responses to her domestic and family violence complaints and child abuse complaints.
  • The appropriateness and adequacy of responses by relevant agencies to the protection, safety and welfare of the children, including Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs, the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Health.

Related articles:

The stretch of the Bunya Highway, south of Kumbia, where the head-on crash occurred


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