'Stop being reckless': Coast man's message after fatal crash
A COAST man who was left fighting for life after a horror fatal crash that claimed the life of his mate is using his story to stop others suffering the same fate.
Buddina's Josh Harrison, 20, suffered a punctured lung, multiple head and facial injuries after the ute in which he and the deceased Bailey Sibraa were passengers crashed into a tree on Pacific Blvd, Buddina on January 6.
The driver Jett Malcolm Morris was charged in relation to the crash and is yet to stand trial.
After nine weeks in hospital and multiple surgeries, Mr Harrison returned home to his family, but he still has a long road ahead of him.
Wearing a shirt printed with a memorial for the late Mr Sibraa, Mr Harrison said the accident turned his life upside down and had robbed him of things many of us take for granted like being able to drive, work and celebrate a birthday.
Before the accident Mr Harrison was excited to plan a party for his 21st, but now surgery in September to attach a bone plate to the front of his head is what he's looking forward to.
The current hole in the front of Mr Harrison's head, necessary to release pressure from his brain, requires him to wear a helmet which he said had opened him up to ridicule.
"The biggest problem is having to wear the helmet. It's very embarrassing. I get laughed at a lot," he said.
Road Safety Week starts today and Mr Harrison wants everyone to know what can happen if you don't follow the road rules.
His message was simple - "stop being stupid and stop being reckless".
"I want to reach out to the young people and teenagers especially to don't speed because you'll end up like me - in hospital and you might have a brain injury," he said.
"Be careful, do the speed limit, please don't drink and drive.
"That's one of the biggest road killers in this country."
Mr Harrison said he looked forward to getting through his recovery so he could work for his brother in Sydney which he had planned to do before the accident.
Although Mr Harrison's life will never be the same, he said the experience made him stronger.
"I'm stronger at controlling my emotions and stuff, it's much easier," he said.
THE COST OF THE ROAD TOLL
QUEENSLAND'S road toll has a massive impact not just on victims and their families, but the economy.
The death toll for the year is already at 151 with the national average of deaths 12,000 annually according to lawyer Andrew McKenzie, the Queensland Head of Road Injuries for Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.
Mr McKenzie has been working with Buddina man Josh Harrison, who was seriously injured in a fatal crash earlier this year, and his family while they navigate through the rehabilitation process.
Mr Harrison is just one of 28,000 people who suffer serious injury on our roads every year, which Mr McKenzie says costs the economy $32 billion.
With road safety week beginning today, Mr McKenzie said the message was clear.
"...don't speed, don't drink and drive, don't look at your (phone), slow down," he said.
"We see the tragic consequences of this every day, not only for the victims, but for the families, the friends and even the medical professionals that have to help and go through this rehab process with these poor victims."