'WORST IT'S EVER BEEN:' Gympie's road fatalities at their highest
A MAN in his 50s was killed in a motorbike crash at Goomeri on Sunday, adding to a horror road toll that Gympie police say is the worst they've seen.
The Fraser Coast man, a well respected motorbike enthusiast, was travelling to a Kilkivan event with a group of 12 riders from across south-east Queensland, when the crash occurred just off the Burnett Highway.
A Queensland Police Service spokesman said it appeared the man had been riding at the front of the group when he slowed down to turn onto Boonah Rd and was struck by a four-wheel drive that had been travelling behind.
The driver is assisting police with inquiries, while the the Forensic Crash Unit team are investigating.
It's the 30th reported motorcyclist death on Queensland roads this year so far, with a total of 153 deaths recorded in road accidents.
There's been 11 fatalities recorded in the Gympie region this year; Goomeri 4, Gympie 5 and Imbil 2.
Officer in Charge for the Gympie Road Policing Unit, Chris Watson, said police were "very concerned" with the recent fatalities.
"The fatality rate is higher than it has ever been," Acting Sgt Watson said.
"We're not above the state average which is good, but it seems to be bad as we're having a lot of them lately."
A contributing factor in some of these crashes is driver distraction.
"Generally across the board, one of the fatal five is a contributing factor," Acting Sgt Watson said.
"Probably the most concerning issue is there's no specific trend causing the fatal crashes."
Earlier this week, a former Sunshine Coast security guard was killed in a motorbike crash on Friday.
Darren Crawford, 46, was travelling northbound on the Sunshine Motorway, about 1km north of the Marcoola exit, when he crashed about 12.50pm.
He died on arrival at Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
Friends of Mr Crawford have described the father and grandfather as "happy" and "energetic".
According to police, Mr Crawford hit a guardrail after leaving the northbound lane, which sent his bike down the side of the road.
In a separate crash, 66-year-old retired bus-driver John Garrott was killed last week after a motorbike crash on Sandy Creek Road at Veteran.
It's believed Mr Garrott lost control on Sandy Creek Rd about 3.30pm on Sunday, but wasn't discovered until after midnight that night, when he failed to turn up at an organised meeting.
As a Polleys Coaches driver, Mr Garrott was adored by his small passengers and well-respected by his colleagues.
Polleys Coaches operations manager Les Ould said Mr Garrott had planned to return to the job part-time after retiring last year from almost two decades of driving school children on the runs from Curra, Tin Can Bay and Pie Creek.
In another motorbike crash earlier last month, a 30-year-old woman was killed in the Mary Valley. in a motorbike crash.
The woman, from Mothar Mountain, died when the motorbike she was driving crashed on Mary Valley Link Road at Kybong before 6pm, police said.
A Queensland Police Service statement said the woman "sustained critical injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene" of the crash.
In a separate crash, Selwyn Price, a 67-year-old Langshaw man, was killed in a single-vehicle crash on June 10 when his car careened 50m from the road down an embankment.
Less than a week later Gympie mates Bryce Brunjes-Kilshaw and Sam Bourke, both in their 20s, were killed when their car slammed into a tree at Curra on June 16.
An Imbil woman, Tina Alleyn, 36, was killed instantly on June 26 when her car ran off Moy Pocket Rd near Kenilworth.
She was driving her two children to school.