Oct 15, 2021

Nurse killed in tragic ambulance crash on verge of retirement and being new granddad

Ray Wyeth nurse killed ambulance

While the crash investigation is ongoing, it appears that a truck collided with the back of an ambulance that was stationary at roadworks near Stanwell, West of Rockhampton. 

Nurse, Ray Wyeth, 65, was one of two men killed. 

An 87-year-old patient who was accompanied by Mr Wyeth also died.

The community has been rocked by the tragedy, with friends, family and groups coming together to grieve the loss of Mr Wyeth, who has been praised as being “one of the most genuinely great people you would ever meet”.

A statement from a close friend spoke of Mr Wyeth’s incredible character, saying, “His love for [his family] was unwavering,” according to ABC News

“Recently becoming a grandfather, he was keener than ever to wind down and have time with the family, and pursue his own projects and adventures after being so dedicated to his career for so long.

“He’s been one of the most valued midwives in the local area, that not many wouldn’t have known of in that field, bringing new life into the world and supporting people in tough times.

“We’ve all lost one of the absolute best that will forever be in our hearts, I hope to see him again one day.”

Many have spoken of the thousands of lives that Mr Wyeth touched, spanning across the community. From his church family, scouts, to the hospitals and clinics, to the countless people he nursed, all have treasured memories of him.

A true friend

District commissioner for Fraser District of Scouts Queensland, Ken Ashford, shared, “Literally there will be thousands and thousands of people whose life has been touched by Ray over time.”

Growing up on a railway reserve in central Queensland with Mr Wyeth, Mr Ashford reminisced on the special bond they shared. 

He described how he came to know Ray right after he was born and how they grew up together at Emerald, plus how their fathers had the same job on the railway.

Keeping in touch as their families both moved to the Fraser Coast, Mr Wyeth and Mr Ashford joined the Queensland Scouts.

Starting at the scouts a year apart, fate would have it that they were eventually put in the same group. 

Going on to both become patrol leaders and rover scouts in their teens, Mr Ashford fondly remembers a fun, adventurous and kind friend.

“He got himself into a bit of mischief from time to time – I remember on one occasion we had a bridge across the water where everyone was getting their official photo taken, and Ray caused the bridges to fall down into the water.

“It was of great amusement – that’s the sort of thing Ray would do.”

Deeply missed and remembered

Mr Wyeth’s work spanned the country, having worked in Maryborough and in recent times at Biloela hospital. Chief executive Steve Williamson of Central Queensland Hospital and Health service said Ray became a “loved member of our CQ health family”.

Offering his condolences to family and loved ones, Mr Williamson also wished to acknowledge the loss that would be felt by Mr Wyeth’s colleagues at Biloela Hospital and the greater CQ Health network.   

A tender reminder of a man who touched many lives, others have paid tribute online, remembering someone who was both a wonderful nurse and a wonderful person, who could – just by showing up for his patients – turn a sad day into a great one.

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