A father and his teenage daughter have tragically died in a horrific motorbike accident after a car spun around in front of their Harley Davidson.
Alan, 60, and Hannah Atherton were out for her birthday on April 18 when they collided with a silver sedan on the Bruce Highway south of Mackay at around 10.30am.
Mr Atherton died at the scene while Ms Atherton, who had been his passenger, was airlifted to Townsville Hospital in critical condition.
After spending 10 days fighting for her life, she died on Wednesday.
Tributes have started pouring in online for the beloved teenager who is remembered for her ‘beautiful soul’ and dazzling smile.
Heartbroken loved ones have revealed his legacy will continue as his organs are donated to help save the lives of others.
Hannah Atherton, 19, (pictured) died after a horror crash on the Bruce Highway in central Queensland
The teenager and her father Alan Atherton, 60, (pictured together) collided with a car while on a motorbike for her birthday He died at the scene
Acting Inspector Anthony Cowan said the Athertons were out with a group of equestrians on Easter Monday when tragedy struck.
He said initial inquiries suggested a car traveling in the same direction had stopped on the side of the road near McNeil Road in Koumala and turned around in front of the motorbike.
“I believe there was a group of motorbikes and (the car) gave way to most of the motorbikes and they turned around and didn’t see the last one that’s what it seems “, he told the Courier Mail reports.
The 63-year-old driver of the car was taken to Mackay Base Hospital with moderate injuries.
His four passengers – a 40-year-old man, a 34-year-old woman and two children aged five and seven – were not injured.
A devastated friend, Shakira Bickley, said Ms Atherton was delighted to visit her father in Mackay for his birthday after he left town five years ago.
A friend said Mr Atherton died ‘doing what he loved’. Pictured is his blue Harley Davidson
Police say initial inquiries indicate the father and daughter collided with a car making a U-turn on Bruce Highway in Koumala (pictured)
According to her social media profiles, Ms Atherton had recently moved to Sydney and was employed by marketing firm Bua Group as a charity fundraiser.
Ms Bickley said losing her ‘beautiful’ best friend was something she would never have to go through, recalling the precious final moments she spent with Ms Atherton hours before the tragedy.
“The Sunday night before it all happened, Hannah and I drove and bought some ice cream,” Ms Bickley wrote on Facebook.
“We drove around Mackay looking at a town we once called home. We stopped at mine and said goodbye and will see you again very soon as she was planning to come visit me in Gold Coast.
‘One last hug and one last “I love you” as I closed the door.
‘As difficult as it is, I’m glad this is our last conversation. I’m glad you could hear how much I love you.
Ms Bickley said she hoped her friend’s organs would go “to a soul as beautiful as hers” and that it was a “true blessing” to be able to “say one last goodbye in hospital”.
Friends remembered the teenager as a ‘beautiful soul’ and revealed her organs would be donated to save other lives
“Being able to hold your hand and see you in peace is something I will forever appreciate,” she continued.
“May you and your father ride together into the beautiful sunset.
“Both of you loved each other so much and I couldn’t think of a better person you could leave this world with.”
Friend Mekenna Bowman said Ms Atherton was ‘one in a million people with a smile that could have lit up the whole world’.
“My heart is broken,” she said.
“You will be sorely missed, you fought a hell of a fight, a fight no one would ever go through. You made me proud no matter what you did and every decision you made.
“I miss your cheeky laugh that we all knew was you the second we heard it, I miss your sarcasm and most of all I miss your smile.”
Bua Group released a statement on Instagram saying it was “difficult to understand” the death of their beloved worker.
“We love you Hannah,” he said.
Ms Atherton had recently moved to Sydney and worked as a fundraiser for marketing firm Bua Group
‘Thank you for being such an important part of the Bua family, you have enriched us all with your enthusiasm, passion and resilience.
“We are better at knowing you, but the world is a little less bright with your passing.”
Kirrilea Smyth, a friend of Mr Atherton, said he died doing what he loved.
“Send all the fighting force to your beautiful daughter,” she wrote.
“You left to do something you loved very much, may you soar high in the sky.”
Police said initial reports indicated the impact of the collision tipped the sedan on its side, blocking the northbound lane, as members of the public rushed to assist.
Ms Atherton was airlifted to hospital in a rescue helicopter after sustaining head injuries, while police closed the road in both directions to investigate the scene.
Pictured: A rescue helicopter at the scene of the accident, which transported Ms Atherton to hospital
The driver of the car suffered pelvic and shoulder injuries and was treated at Mackay Base Hospital, where her passengers were also taken as a precaution.
Investigations by the forensic unit are continuing and anyone with relevant dash cam footage of this area or information that may help is urged to contact police.
Inspector Cowan described the desolate stretch of highway as a “danger zone” because it is notorious for accidents due to driver fatigue.
He said authorities would increase patrols and improve signage after there were three deaths in the area so far this year.
“There’s a big fatigue area there, especially 10 a.m. north of Brisbane and there’s not much around it,” he said.
“People don’t realize they’re tired until it’s too late.”
The tragedy brings the death toll on the Bruce Highway near Koumala to four so far this year after a woman and a man were killed in two separate crashes.
A 50-year-old man died north of Koumala in February after his car collided with a truck, while medical student Yi-Jing Zeng died in a similar crash just south of Sarina last month .