WARWICK State High School student Chloe McVeigh is recovering well after a shocking crash on the New England Highway south of Warwick on Wednesday afternoon.
The 17-year-old remains in Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital today after a Crisps coach carrying Assumption College students collided with her vehicle - in which her brother and another male student were passengers - while all were returning from an athletics carnival in Stanthorpe.
Chloe sustained head and pelvic injuries and was placed in intensive care after being flown to Brisbane on Wednesday night by the State Government Rescue 500 chopper.
Her brother Fraser, 13, was yesterday released from Warwick Hospital with a broken thumb and bruising, after they were both cut free from the wreckage of Chloe's late-model VW Beetle.
The other student, 17-year-old Josh Watson, was treated at the scene for an ear injury.
Speaking to the Daily News from hospital yesterday, their father George McVeigh said his daughter had regained consciousness late on Wednesday night, with her first question being, "Can you ring IGA and tell them I won't be coming in to work?".
Mr McVeigh was finishing up at the weekly sheep sale at the Warwick Saleyards on Wednesday when the phone calls started - bringing with them every parent's most dreaded news that a child, in this case two, had been in a car accident.
But despite the serious nature of her injuries, Mr McVeigh said Chloe's overall outlook was positive.
"She came out of intensive care and into a general ward and while she's conscious at times she's mostly sleeping," Mr McVeigh said yesterday.
"They've done brain scans and other tests and everything is clear, they're keeping a close eye on her as she was very heavily concussed and she also has a fractured jaw.
"We don't know how long she'll be in hospital for but we should get a clearer picture in the next couple of days.
"At this stage she isn't saying anything about the accident and we don't know how much she will remember."
Chloe's mother Lou McVeigh will also stay at Chloe's side for the next few days, after flying with her in the chopper, while Fraser stays with close family members in Warwick.
An emotional Mr McVeigh yesterday praised the efforts of emergency services crews who worked to free his children with the jaws of life.
"You never think you're going to get those calls, and then see your kids trapped in a car," he said.
"The firies and ambos were fantastic, they did an outstanding job along with the teachers - we just want to thank them all and they all know who they are.
"We also want to thank everyone who has sent us messages and phone calls of support."
Mr McVeigh declined to speculate on the cause of the crash, other than to say it was his understanding a vehicle had come to a halt in front of Chloe's and that a van driver behind her was forced to swerve, with the bus unable to do so in time.
"We're just thankful that the teachers and children on the bus are okay and that Chloe and Fraser didn't come out of it worse-off than they did," Mr McVeigh said.