Crash victim a caring, humorous father
A CLOSE friend of Toowoomba crash victim Chris Wiid says the father-of-three's skill and work ethic were reflected in the success of his business.
Mr Wiid, 47, was driving home from a job in Injune on Friday afternoon when his ute was involved in a head-on collision with a light truck on the Warrego Hwy, east of Dulacca.
Family friend Neels van Rensburg said the tragedy had a huge impact on Toowoomba's tight-knit South African community.
Mr Wiid and his wife Lyrene moved to Toowoomba in 2004 after immigrating to Australia from their native South Africa in 1999.
Together they have three sons, who attend Toowoomba Grammar School.
"He started off with nothing," Mr van Rensburg said of his friend's arrival in Toowoomba.
By combining his hydrological engineering skills with the knowledge of his father-in-law, Mr Wiid helped build a respectable wastewater treatment business.
His role as owner of Highfields-based Rotating Disc Systems took him around the country, with jobs in places including Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Papua New Guinea.
Mr van Rensburg said his friend had been inspecting a water treatment system at a closed-down roadworks camp between Injune and Rolleston on Friday.
"He wanted to buy the system back because he had installed it."
Mr Wiid was also an active member of the Christian Reformed Church at Glenvale.
"We were a pretty close group of South Africans and Chris has been a pillar in that group.
"He... has done a lot of work in the church as a deacon."
That work included organising help for members of the congregation struggling financially.
"He was a very caring person."
Humour was another of Mr Wiid's strengths.
"He was always the one at the party who would lighten things up and pull a few strings and that's the way we will remember him."
The reality of his friend's death has been difficult for Mr van Rensburg to grasp.
"I went with his family to view him and that's when reality struck."
"We're going to miss him for sure."
Mr Wiid's family wanted to thank police officers at Dulacca and Toowoomba for their help and professionalism, as well as staff at Toowoomba Hospital.
Plans were yesterday being made for Mr Wiid's funeral, which will be held at Christian Reformed Church Toowoomba.
The cause of the crash is being investigated.