Following the devastating news that a woman and four children were killed in a fiery road crash in Queensland’s South Burnett on Monday evening, the heartbroken father of the four children has broken his silence and issued an emotional statement.
Aaleyn, six, Matilda, five, Wyatt, four, and Zaidok, two, passed away in the crash, while their mother, 34-year-old Charmaine Harris McLeod, also lost her life.
‘I love them very much and they will be surely missed with all of my heart,’ their father James Mcleod said in a statement.
“They were beautiful souls and were loved by all who knew them.”
Meanwhile, Kawungan State School, which Aaleyn and Matilda attended, issued an emotional statement on Facebook.
“We are deeply saddened by a traffic vehicle accident affecting the McLeod family from our lower school,” the statement read. “We extend our sincere sympathies to their family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time. Aaleyn and Matilda will be deeply missed.”
There’s also been an outpouring of grief in the local community.
‘Hold your loved ones close. This is a type of accident, a road accident, that horrifies you,” George Seymour, Mayor of the Fraser Coast, told Today.
Another resident told the show: “It’s not been easy. It’s been pretty horrible news knowing that all four kids are gone too.”
Others shared their condolences on social media.
“Absolutely tragic & heartbreaking news,” one person said. “My condolences to all who know the family & five long big hugs for dad. My thoughts are also with the truck driver.”
Another comment read: “Matilda your smile was so beautiful.”
A third added: “Sending love and strength to the Kawungan families and staff. Aaleyn was a delightful child. May she and her family Rest In Peace.”
Queensland Police said the crash happened when a Nissan station wagon pulled out to overtake a truck, and was then hit by an oncoming truck, just before 7.30pm on Monday.
Both vehicles burst into flames, with the driver of the car and three of the children pronounced deceased at the scene.
A young girl in the same vehicle was transported to Kingaroy Hospital with life threatening injuries. She was later flown to Queensland Children’s Hospital in a critical condition but sadly passed away during the flight.
The driver of the truck, a 47-year-old man, was taken to Kingaroy Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.