Crash survivors reflect on tragic night
PETER Nixon, fiancé Sheena Hodge, Joe Simmons and Sam McGelligot were on their way to a social gathering in Bundaberg when everything changed.
"It hit the truck and spun towards us," Mr Nixon said.
"The car would've done three or four revolutions before it hit us.
"It just happened so quickly."
The November 15 three-vehicle crash near McKenzie's corner on Goodwood Rd, North Gregory, claimed the life of mother-of-five Amanda Roberts, who was killed when her 2005 Mitsubishi 380 sedan collided with a Mercedes Benz utility at 6.45pm.
The rear of Ms Roberts' car then collided with the front right section of Mr Nixon's Subaru Impreza, which was being driven by 21-year-old Miss Hodge.
"We were so lucky; we could've lost a few more lives if it weren't for how sturdy they make cars these days," Mr Nixon said.
"Sheena's old car was a '99 Barina so I'm glad we had my car. Who knows how bad it could've been.
"We're pretty lucky it hit the truck first as well."
You try to distract yourself but you realise these kids have to live their whole life without their mother.
The days since have been a mental struggle for the four, who have silently grappled with recurring nightmares and visions of the crash.
Mr Nixon didn't want he and his friends' experience to overshadow Ms Roberts' death, but he opened up about the psychological scars that have surfaced in the time since.
"We've been having a hard time," Mr Nixon said.
"It's mentally draining to know someone lost their life in that crash.
"It plays on your mind and is always in your head.
"It's been hard on us but it's so much harder for her family.
"Seeing how grief-stricken her kids and family are play on your mind.
"You try to distract yourself but you realise these kids have to live their whole life without their mother.
"We haven't spoken to counsellors but have talked with each other as much as we can.
"I'm sure the truck driver is in a bad way too."
The quartet were taken to Bundaberg Hospital for treatment after the crash.
Miss Hodge and Mr Simmons, 19, were on the driver's side of the car and underwent ultrasounds to check for internal injuries while Mr Nixon and Mr McGelligot, 22, had blood tests in addition to their check-up.
All four escaped with only minor injuries such as whiplash, but the memory of the night could haunt them forever.