A photo of Robert Carter posted to Facebook in 2014. SOURCE: FACEBOOK
A photo of Robert Carter posted to Facebook in 2014. SOURCE: FACEBOOK

‘RIP mate, I’m so sorry your life was cut short’

TRIBUTES have flowed for a Bowen man killed in a crash on the Bruce Highway near Bowen that also killed a man and a woman in their 70s.

Robert Carter, 34, died at the scene of the three-vehicle crash on Tuesday afternoon. Mr Carter's sister, Melissa Carter, said she was devastated.

"My brother was a kind-hearted free spirit," she said. "He had such great knowledge about life. (I'm) so devastated … He was my only sibling. I looked up to him."

Bowen-based demolition company Integrabuild paid tribute to Mr Carter on its Facebook page.

"Our hearts go out to the family of our former employee Robert Carter who was killed during a fatal accident near Bowen," the post said.

"Robert was a loyal and intelligent employee. We are all devastated by this tragedy."

The post said Mr Carter as a kind, clever and technical guy who loved animals, computer games and playing music.

"We were fortunate to jam with him one night and wish to offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends, some of whom are still working with us today," the post said.

Stephanie Jones also posted a heartfelt message on Facebook.

"RIP mate. I'm so sorry your life was cut short. I know you're looking down at all this love pouring in for you," she said.

"You will be so missed. Please watch over your sister and make sure she is okay. You will always be remembered and loved. Fly free mate."

Forensic Crash Unit Acting Sergeant Mark Knopjes said the investigation into the accident could take months.

"It's in the early stages of investigation," he said.

Sgt Knopjes said preliminary investigations indicated Mr Carter was driving southbound in a white Hilux and had overtaken a number of vehicles towing caravans.

He said it was understood Mr Carter veered back on to the wrong side of the road, colliding with the front wheel of a fuel tanker.

The driver of the tanker lost control from the impact, causing the truck to hit a culvert and tip over, crushing the cabin of the car carrying the elderly interstate travellers.

The 38-year-old driver of the fuel tanker was not physically injured.

Sgt Knopjes urged drivers to slow down in order to arrive at their destination safely.

"Drivers need to take their time, especially with overtaking longer vehicles, be patient and allow for overtaking lanes," he said.

The Forensic Crash Unit's investigations are continuing.