Police officers and other emergency personnel say they have been left traumatised by a crash that killed a mother and daughter on their way to Christmas lunch in Brisbane.
The family from Narangba was driving along a main road at Manly West on Monday when their car was struck by another vehicle which crossed a median strip.
An 18-year-old woman died at the scene. Her 56-year-old mother later died in hospital.
Senior Sergeant Lukia Serafim was one of the first to arrive.
“The scene itself was horrific, what we had to witness was something – in my 25 years as a police officer – is something we don’t witness every day,” she told media in Brisbane on Boxing Day.
“For other emergency services that turned up, they were visibly distraught.”
She said a pregnant doctor helped passersby perform CPR before police arrived.
“We are grateful for everything they did to assist us at a very, very tragic scene on a day that should be spent with families,” Senior Sergeant Serafim said.
Acting Senior Sergeant Nicole Fox said experienced members of the forensic crash unit who attended were also shaken.
“They’ve all expressed sadness and found it to be one of the most traumatic scenes that they’ve attended in their vast experience,” she said.
Superintendent David Johnson pleaded with drivers to be extra cautious over the holiday period.
“I can tell you in my years of policing experience there were a number that were quite traumatised, they were visibly upset and a number of officers were crying when I spoke to them,” he said
“The tragedy that this occurred on Christmas Day and the family that were just going along to other family to open Christmas presents.”
He asked for any witnesses or people with dashcam or CCTV video to come forward.
The driver of the BMW which crossed the median strip has been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm.
He is due to appear in court on January 15.
The forensic crash unit is also investigating the death of a 51-year-old woman whose body was found on a road at Yarraman, north-west of Brisbane late last night.
Police believe she was struck by a passing vehicle.