Tragic rest stop that claimed little Hayley
A SIMPLE toilet break on a road trip has tragically changed the lives of a Rockhampton family forever.
On Thursday three-year-old Hayley Pattenden had been on a road trip to Brisbane with her mother and two big sisters. Sadly it was one from which she would not return home.
On the way home, about 5pm, her mother Tegan Kurtz pulled in to the BP Caboolture North Service Station, on the Bruce Highway north of Brisbane, for a bathroom break.
But within seconds of her mother parking the car, little Hayley was hit by a ute in the busy truck stop car park.
Crews of paramedics descended, including critical-care officers, to work tirelessly on Hayley, but heartbreakingly she couldn't be saved.
In a written statement, Ms Kurtz said on Friday: "Our lives were tragically turned upside down. What was to be a typical toilet stop has changed our lives forever, our beautiful three-year-old daughter Hayley is no longer here with us".
"Hayley had a cheeky smile and was a bit shy. She loved trying to keep up with her big sisters Sophie and Olivia. She loved rodeos and helping her dad with the cattle, but she was a real mummy's girl and often would sneak into her mum's bed at night. We all greatly miss her.
"We would like to thank the emergency services and first responders who tried tirelessly to save our baby girl. From the bottom of our hearts thank you."
The exact details are still unknown, however Hayley's grandmother Karen Tacey said Ms Kurtz felt helpless.
"They were getting out at a big truck stop and Hayley ran out of the car and got hit by a truck. Tegan told me she couldn't help her."
Big sisters, Olivia, 5, and Sophie, 7, both witnessed the terrible accident.
Hayley is the third child to have died following a road incident this week, after a four-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy were killed instantly when the car they were travelling in collided with trees at Peak Crossing on Monday.
In a separate incident on Monday, a female toddler was taken in a critical condition to the Queensland Children's Hospital for head and chest injuries. Her condition is unknown.
Friends and family have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of Hayley's funeral and to help financially while her parents grieve.
Between fits of laughter and tears, Ms Tacey recalled her 50th birthday party a few weeks ago, where Hayley approached a guest and said, "That's my nan, I love my nan and she's really old".
Ms Tacey said that was the type of kid Hayley was, innocent, happy, and full of life and with a smile that could light up the room.