Driver mending but may never recall crash
THE truck driver involved in a five-vehicle crash at Hatton Vale earlier this year may never remember what happened.
Shane Shorten, 55, is on the long road to recovery after he lost his legs in a crash while driving a Supergas truck on the Warrego Hwy at Hattonvale on May 23.
The truck rolled near the Rusty's service Oz service station.
Mr Shorten was airlifted to the PA Hospital, where he remains, after being cut free of the wreckage.
He has lost both of his legs below the knee and has short-term memory loss, but is recovering well.
His wife Lyn Shorten and best mate Mark Hunter told Big Rigs he was lucky to be alive.
"He's still got a bit of brain damage and is very emotional," Mrs Shorten said.
However, "he's in a good frame of mind and is trying hard to get home".
"He'll probably never remember what happened," she said.
Mr Hunter said the truck "flipped upside down" while carrying gas bottles.
"He's lucky to be here," he said.
"It took them two hours to get him out of the truck."
Mr Hunter said the windscreen of the truck "sliced him open" but he was healing well.
"The doctors are amazed with his recovery."
Mr Shorten also has a broken shoulder and broken pelvis.
"His legs are coming along well," Mrs Shorten said.
"They're letting him out on Sunday we're very excited about it."
That trip outside the PA hospital was the first since the crash.
Now his community in Wynnum in Queensland's south-east is rallying around the family and raising money to help him return home.
Mr Hunter said his mate was the first to coach a girls' rugby league team at the Wynnum Manly Junior Leagues club.
He is helping to organise a family fun day and truck show on September 6 at the club.
Money raised will go directly to the Shorten family.
Currently the family home is being assessed by an occupational therapist to see if Mr Shorten can return home.
Mrs Shorten said the police haven't made a determination on what caused the crash yet, however they had commented on her husband's skill with tying down the gas bottles which could have killed him.
Before the crash, Mr Shorten drove from Brisbane to Toowoomba delivering gas bottles every day.
"He won't be able to go back to truck driving," Mrs Shorten said.
She expects her husband will be able to come home in a few months, but that will depend on his progress and the modifications to their two-storey house.
The family fun day and truck show is being held on September 6, two days before Mr Shorten's birthday, at the Wynnum Manly Junior Rugby Leagues Club.
Reid Transport in Beaudesert will have trucks there as well as Marshall Watego with Optimus Prime and others. There will also be a car display and prizes for best truck and car, raffles and entertainment. Stubby Coolers will be sold to raise money.