Schoolies survive freak accident in K’gari (Fraser Island)

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

Four young women celebrating Schoolies by travelling around K’Gari (formerly known as Fraser Island) in Queensland are lucky to be alive after the branch of a fallen tree speared through their vehicle.

Their story of survival was described as “freakish” by Andy Gourley, national coordinator of volunteer-run youth support program, Red Frogs, who help safeguard visiting schoolies at key event hotspots.

It was Red Frogs’ own team that was first on the scene after the group had “come around the corner and not seen the fallen tree” when it “just went straight through the car”.

Passenger lucky to be alive

The tree smashed the windscreen and speared the seat of a passenger who – incredibly – ducked out of the way. People who rushed to the scene said they were amazed nobody was killed.

- Advertisement -

“It’s just freakish that none of them are injured,” Mr Gourley said. “She just ducked it – her instincts were absolutely brilliant. They rang triple-0, and by chance our Frog truck was coming around the corner on the same track and the guys were able to assist them.”

The real heroes, Mr Gourley said, were local rangers who organised a tractor to pull the branch from the vehicle.

The four young women were taken to nearby Eurong to be assessed.

Reminder for Schoolies to be alert

“The Kingfisher Bay Resort was very generous in providing accommodation for the girls that night too, so there’s really been some amazing community support for these girls,” Mr Gourley said. The incident, he said, is a timely reminder to be careful when driving through potentially treacherous terrain.

- Advertisement -

Aside from this near-miss, Mr Gourley described this year’s Schoolies in Queensland as one of the “healthiest” of the state’s events he has seen in the 26 years he has been involved.

“There’s a lot more non-drinkers, a lot more choosing to do the camping option and just have fun with their mates.”

Share This Article
Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]