A BRISBANE man has told of the horrifying seconds that followed as he swerved to avoid ploughing into a major accident on Sunshine Motorway yesterday.
The motorway was a scene of carnage after the head-on collision between two vehicles just south of the Coolum roundabout.
Three people had to be cut from the wreckage and two rescue helicopters were called in to take the most seriously injured to hospital in Brisbane.
A shaken Josh Ellis told how he had only a split second to decide what to do when he saw two cars collide just metres in front of him.
He veered away from the crash and down an embankment, saving himself and his three passengers from serious injury in the carnage.
“It was a scene of destruction – cars everywhere, people crying in pain,” he said as he surveyed the mayhem left from the crash between the Toyota Camry sedan and Triton utility.
The 1.40pm crash, about 1.5km south of the Coolum roundabout, left three people trapped in vehicles and the road littered with debris.
A male in his 30s, who was a passenger in the utility, had to be cut from the vehicle and was flown to Royal Brisbane Hospital by one of two rescue helicopters which landed on the motorway
The driver of the Camry, a woman in her 20s, was airlifted to the same hospital by the second helicopter.
The driver of the utility, another woman in her 20s, was taken to Nambour General Hospital by ambulance.
All three were suffering internal and leg injuries.
Mr Ellis said he was travelling about 100kmh when the two cars collided immediately ahead of him.
“I thought either I head into on-coming traffic or I run into a tree,” he said.
“I went down an embankment into grass and hoped for the best.
“There was a lot of thick grass and I think it helped us stop so fast.”
Mr Ellis said he made sure the occupants of his car – his girlfriend and another
couple – were unhurt and then went to help the other motorists.
“Everyone rushed over. We were trying to get them out but we couldn’t get the doors open.
“They were in bad shape and there was not a lot we could do but try to keep them calm until help arrived and to hold towels up to keep the sun off them.
“There was a lot of blood and a lot of panic and crying – it was really frightening.
“It was really bad, I am so thankful the four of us weren’t hurt.”
The motorway was closed for several hours causing frustration for vehicles that had to seek alternatives while emergency crews cleared away the debris.
Police investigating the accident have urged witnesses to call Crime Stoppers on 1800-333000.