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Mon, 23 Nov, 2020

"We will wrap our arms around them": Family of six in tragic crash identified

"We will wrap our arms around them": Family of six in tragic crash identified

A small community in southeast Queensland are "heartbroken" and calling for a complete road overhaul after a family of six's car plunged into a dam and claimed the lives of 13-year-old Leo Larsen and his four-year-old sister Mia.

The two children were travelling alongside their two younger siblings and parents Dylan Wadley and Mel Martin when the car broke through a road barrier on Beaudesert Boonah Road, rolled down an embankment and flipped on its roof into Wyralong Dam.

The couple managed to escape the submerged car with their five-week-old daughter Hope and one-year-old son Ace but tragically were unable to open the car to save Leo and Mia.

The couple are stable after undergoing leg and pelvic surgery on Monday while their one-year-old boy remains in a critical condition. The five-week-old baby is stable.

Local residents took to social media to express their condolences to the family.

“There needs to be an overhaul of that road. Been many fatalities over the years … RIP little ones,” Sue Clarke wrote on Facebook.

“It is extremely sad to hear. However whoever designed the road and markings in particular needs to have their head examined … you can legally pass when you can’t see but can’t pass when you can,” Tracey Maguire wrote.

“Our little town of Pratten is heartbroken,” Jenni Kehlet wrote.

“Fly high beautiful Leo and Mia. You were absolutely gorgeous children. My heart breaks for your mum and dad. So shattering. Praying for your little brother and sister,” Liz Turner wrote.

“This is too sad. Just like that, their lives will never be the same. Sending all my love to their mum and dad,” Bonnie Girven wrote.

The tragedy has shaken the local community in Pratten.

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Vic Pennisi told Seven News: “We will wrap our arms around them. They are part of the community an at time like this, we all step up.”

Inspector Douglas McDonald told reporters that the vehicle had skidded onto the other side of the road and crashed into a second guard rail before rolling down the embankment.

“It came to rest on its roof in a semi-submerged position,” he said on Monday.

“Unfortunately, those two children (who died) were trapped in the vehicle longer than the other occupants,” he said.

“There was some difficulty getting some of the doors open to the vehicle.”

Inspector McDonald said passers-by performed CPR on the children once they had been removed from the vehicle, but they passed away at the scene.

“It’s really traumatic for our first responders and also for the members of the public who stopped,” he said.

Photo credits: news.com.au