What local stories interested you in 2018?
What local stories interested you in 2018? Pexels

Bundy's most viewed local stories of 2018

WHAT a year for social media fanatics and website deep-divers.

People argued over whether a recording said Yanny or Laurel, had fun dancing alongside cars to the theme of Drake's In My Feelings, and most recently, laughed at the NSW Happy New Year sign that was a little outdated.

The NewsMail endeavours to provide fresh, local stories to inform Bundy readers of what's happening, when it's happening. So what online stories interested Bundy residents the most in 2018?

1. Pacific Dawn

THE most clicked on, and probably one of the most tragic stories of last year was the heartbreaking story of a woman who went missing after falling from the P&O Pacific Dawn cruise liner on its way back to Brisbane on April 12.

A Bundaberg woman on the ship, which was heading from New Caledonia en route for Brisbane, told of the harrowing moment the search for the overboard woman was called off at 8 o'clock the next morning.

"After staying in the area and searching all night and into light this morning, the Captain announced at 8am that unfortunately they have been unable to locate the person and have made the heartbreaking decision, with consultation from marine authorities, to leave the area and push on to Brisbane," she said.

"May she rest in peace."

Police revealed there had been no suspicious circumstances.

If you've been feeling depressed or anxious, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

2. Leisa and Emerson Purkis

THE South Kolan community was shaken by the loss of mother Leisa Purkis and her daughter Emerson after their car collided with a truck on Bundaberg-Gin Gin Rd on November 5.


HORROR CRASH: Leisa Purkis was killed in a head-on crash that also claimed the life of her daughter Emerson.
Emerson's mum Leisa Purkis lost her life in a horror smash. Facebook

The two were on their daily school run, along with Emerson's brother Flynn, about 7.40am when the crash happened, killing Leisa at the scene and leaving Emerson with life-threatening injuries.

Young Emerson died at Bundaberg Hospital later that day.


HORROR CRASH: Emerson Purkis died as a result of a head-on crash along Bundaberg Gin Gin Rd, which also claimed the life of her mother Leisa.
Emerson Purkis also died as a result of the head-on crash. Facebook

Tributes flowed for the heartbreaking loss, and the incident sparked anger through the community over the state of the deadly stretch of road.

3. Christmas lights

BUNDABERG residents were on the hunt for the most magical houses donned with sparkly lights and blow-up characters to celebrate the short weeks leading to Christmas.


Christmas Lights Gin Gin, November 9, 2016
LIGHTING UP: The NewsMail's annual interactive Christmas lights map proved extremely popular. Jodie Dixon

The NewsMail took the guesswork out of the annual Christmas light drives, compiling a list of streets and houses where families could find a winter wonderland in the middle of summer, complete with an interactive map.

4. Gin Gin double fatality

ANOTHER horror day on Bundaberg roads was April 28, when two people lost their lives in a fiery crash on the Bruce Highway, about 36km north of Gin Gin.

Two cars and a truck were involved in what was described as a "frightening" incident about 5.30pm, where one car was engulfed by flames and the two occupants died.

Speaking at the scene, then Queensland Ambulance Service Wide Bay operations manager Rick Tenthy said occupants of the second car had been flown to multiple hospitals with serious injuries.

"In another vehicle that was involved, a young family was involved with a head-on collision and two children and two adults have been flown from the scene to both the Sunshine Coast and the Bundaberg base hospital with serious injuries," Mr Tenthy said.

5. Death of Burnett Heads teen

A 19-YEAR-old Burnett Heads man was driving his Mazda sedan along Mittelheusers Rd just before midnight when his car left the road and hit a tree.


A man has died in a horrific traffic crash on Mittelheuser Rd.
A Burnett Heads man sadly died in a horrific traffic crash on Mittelheusers Rd. Craig Warhurst

The car hit the only gum tree on that section of road, and police later investigated whether speed had been a factor in the crash.

6. Bundy in the dark

THOUSANDS of households were left in the dark on the night of April 7 after a mass power outage.

Ergon Energy confirmed about 25,000 customers lost power that night.

7. Teen hit by car

AN 18-YEAR-old man died at the scene of a crash after he was hit by a car on Bargara Rd on May 6.

Initial reports revealed the car had been travelling west on the road about 1.40am when it struck the man.

It was later revealed the teen was lying in the middle of the road and attempts were made to save him before he was pronounced dead at the scene.

8. Olivia June Douglas

ON SEPTEMBER 14, an entire netball community was heartbroken by the news eight-year-old Olivia June Douglas had been killed on her way to a tournament in Bundaberg.

The young "queen of hugs" died after the car she was travelling in collided with another vehicle on the Bruce Highway about 1.20pm.

A man in the second vehicle also died as a result of the head-on crash.

Two occupants of Olivia's car had serious, non-life-threatening injuries.

9. Manhunt for escapee

THE hunt was on for a 19-year-old prisoner who escaped from police on June 5.

The man was being transferred to the watch house at Bundaberg Police Station when he broke free and fled from the scene.


Police at the scene of where a man escaped custody.
Police at the scene of where a man escaped custody. Carolyn Booth

The search team was made up of the local traffic branch, the dog squad and all of the police officers rostered on duty for that day.

He was on the run for three hours before he was recaptured.

10. Trio charged with caravan theft

ON JULY 19, three people were charged over the theft of a caravan that was reported stolen from Maryborough and later found at a Bundaberg property.

A 28-year old man, a 38-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman appeared before Bundaberg Magistrates Court on multiple charges including the theft.

News of the incident went viral on social media, including CCTV footage of the caravan being towed by a dual- cab ute.