Retired firefighter thought car might 'blow up' as he ran towards 'horrific' scene
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Retired firefighter thought car might 'blow up' as he ran towards 'horrific' scene

A retired firefighter who was first on the scene after a car hit a tree north of Brisbane on Friday feared the sedan might "blow up" as he ran towards the wreckage and helped the five people inside.

The crash happened on Castle Hill Drive in Murrumba Downs, in the Moreton Bay region, about 2.15pm. The 24-year-old male driver died and four teenagers were injured, some seriously.

The crash scene in Murrumba Downs after a car lost control on a roundabout and hit a tree.

The crash scene in Murrumba Downs after a car lost control on a roundabout and hit a tree.

Photo: 7 News Brisbane - Twitter

Russell Jenkins, 71, was a firefighter in the local area for most of his 40 years' service. He retired seven years ago and was out on his daily walk when he heard a "thud" behind him.

"I had my back to the car, but I heard the thud as it hit the traffic island, careered up the road ... slid into the tree and then the bang," he said.

Mr Jenkins was an instructor in road accident rescue and based at Petrie Fire Station for 30 years but it was the first time an accident had happened beside him.

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The retired firefighter ran towards the crash scene as a woman behind him called triple zero and another man, who lived across the road, came over to help as well.

"It was pretty horrific," Mr Jenkins said.

"The throttle was jammed and the car was just revving, we didn’t know whether it was going to blow up because it was just screaming."

Mr Jenkins squeezed between the tree and the driver's side of the car and removed the keys from the ignition, before turning his attention to the car's five occupants.

He found the driver alive and did what he could for the Murrumba Downs man.

"I made a temporary collar out of sheet or towel to put under his head and then put another one behind to keep his head up .... like a neck brace," Mr Jenkins said.

"The guy beside him had back injuries, the girl in the back got out all right and the two men in the back were trapped and in a lot of pain with multiple broken bones."

Emergency services arrived at the scene and a police officer moved him away from the car thinking he might be a relative or friend of the occupants.

However, when the first of the firefighters arrived and heard Mr Jenkins' experience, they turned to the police officer and said: "He knows more about the rescue than we do, let him back in there."

Mr Jenkins continued to try to calm the car's occupants and assess the situation, but gradually pulled back as more emergency service workers arrived.

"I don’t think it ever leaves you," he said in reference to his reaction to run towards the crash.

"The emergency services handled it very well, they had their procedures ... the whole thing was just sad given the outcome."

The residential street was flooded with emergency services.

The residential street was flooded with emergency services.

Photo: 7 News Brisbane - Twitter

Police confirmed the driver later died from his injuries. A 17-year-old male passenger was also seriously injured.

The other passengers sustained non-life-threatening injuries. They were another 17-year-old boy, an 18-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service used the 'jaws of life' to cut at least two teenagers free.

The final entrapped patient was removed from the car just under an hour after the crash.

Bridie Scott, the mother of the injured 18-year-old boy, posted on Facebook describing the moment she got the call to say her son Jack, who turned 18 the day of the crash, had been injured.

"Yesterday I got 'that' call. Ma’am, your sons been involved in a serious accident," she wrote.

"Luckily for us, Jack has minor injuries and is home. The driver's parents are not as fortunate and our dear friend past (sic) at the scene.

"Our other dear friends are receiving care for their serious injuries in hospital. Their parents also received 'that' call.

"I know us and all of the affected families are in you’re (sic) thoughts, prayers and well wishes.

"However I am requesting that you share this message with you’re (sic) friends, family and community of other young and upcoming drivers. My message is simple.

"What should have been the greatest day of celebrating with loved ones, quickly became one of tradegy, sorrow and despair for our community.

"Whilst we still do not understand the circumstances or ‘why’, I do know that we need to constantly remind our young adults to slow down, keep observant and be reminded we all have limits.

"Raising two young men, Ive always encouraged them to be strong, courageous and bold. My lessons remain but louder.

"Strong to call out ‘slow down mate’, courageous to say ‘ I don’t feel safe’ and bold to stop dangerous activity."

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.