Region supports family of teen killed on Work for Dole

UPDATE 11AM: A Meringandan family mourning the death of teenager Josh Park-Fing is being supported by the region.

More than $2700 has been raised to help financially support the 18-year-old's family as they struggle to come to grips with the sudden death.

Close family friend Christabel Dodds hopes to help cover the funeral expenses and give Josh's mother Jenny time away from work.

EXPLAINED: How Josh Park-Fing tragically died

Josh has been remembered as a larger than life man "full of personality and spirit".

"A beautiful larrikin who will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him," the online fundraising page says.

"No mother should ever have to bury her child."

A collection tin has this morning been dropped at the Meringandan Hotel.

Donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/23zexa3z
 

Josh Fing (right) with twin brother Jayden Fing and mother Jenny Fing.
Josh Fing (right) with twin brother Jayden Fing and mother Jenny Fing. Contributed

WEDNESDAY 4PM: An online petition is calling for the Work for the Dole program to be overhauled in the wake of a young Meringandan man's death.

As the region rallies around Josh Park-Fing's family, the Australian Unemployed Workers' Union has claimed the 18-year-old's workplace death validated its calls for the worker program to be scrapped.

The Change.org petition was established this morning and attracted more than 400 signatures within hours.

The petition cited allegations of intimidation and unfairness in the Work for the Dole program's practices.

But safety concerns and the investigation into the young man's death are far from his family's thoughts as it comes to terms with the sudden death.

Forensic investigators said the final incident report would take at least a month with mechanical experts to scrutinise the tractor and trailer in coming weeks.

Police took more witness statements today.

Mr Park-Fing had been on the flatbed trailer at the top of a hill at the showgrounds when the tractor slipped a gear and jolted before hitting a bump.

He fell from the trailer and hit his head on the ground causing critical injuries. Workmates tried desperately to revive him before paramedics arrived on scene and performed CPR but he died on the way to hospital.

The Meringandan Hotel has a collection tin for the family and an online fund-raiser is running at gofundme.com/23zexa3z.

Josh Fing, 18, died in a workplace incident at the Toowoomba Showgrounds.
Josh Fing, 18, died in a workplace incident at the Toowoomba Showgrounds.

2.40PM: The young man killed in a tragic workplace incident has been remembered as a "typical 18-year-old boy" by his family.

Josh Fing died at the Toowoomba Showgrounds shortly after midday Tuesday when he fell from a trailer towed by a tractor.

Critically injured, Mr Fing's workmates tried desperately to save his life but he died on his way to hospital.

Now, the small community of Meringandan is supporting the family the young man leaves behind - his single mother Jenny, twin brother Jayden, younger brother Locklyn and sister Jemma.

"Josh was an 18-year-old boy with just so much personality, a really bright spirit and a beautiful person," close family friend Christabel Dodds said.

"He had a very larrikin personality - was very fun loving."

Ms Dodds is hoping to support the Fing family as financially as possible as a young mother faces the prospect of burying a child.

"She was at work yesterday when she got the news," Ms Dodds said.

"It's a very difficult time. The news is still settling in but they're doing the best they can."

Ms Dodds is finalising fundraising plans which are expected to be released this afternoon.

11AM: The investigation into a teenager's workplace death at the Toowoomba Showgrounds is expected to take at least a month.

It comes as the family of the 18-year-old man from Meringandan closes ranks as they come to grips with the tragic incident.

The young man died of critical head injuries suffered when he fell from a flatbed trailer being towed by a trailer at the Toowoomba Showgrounds about 12.20pm Tuesday.

The incident occurred on a bitumen path outside The Burger House, a short distance uphill from the showgrounds' lake.

Forensic investigators will work closely with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland over the coming weeks including examining the tractor and trailer involved.

The man had been employed through the Work for the Dole scheme contracted through Neato Employment.

Investigators said the incident was "definitely not intentional" and the 24-year-old man driving the tractor at the time "is understandably devastated".

Police and WHSQ are expected to take more statements today from witnesses to the incident.

TUESDAY, 4PM: A young man killed in a tragic workplace incident has been remembered as a hard working "lively lad" with a bright outlook on life.

Authorities are investigating the 18-year-old Meringandan man's death after he fell from a flatbed trailer being towed by a tractor at the Toowoomba Showgrounds about 12.20pm.

Queensland Ambulance advanced care paramedics tried desperately to treat the man at the scene of the incident but were unable to stabilise him.

Frantic CPR efforts en route to hospital were unsuccessful and the young man later died of critical head injuries.

The incident is now under investigation by police and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

Police at the scene of a fatal workplace incident at Toowoomba Showgrounds, Tuesday, April 19, 2016.
Police at the scene of a fatal workplace incident at Toowoomba Showgrounds, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Kevin Farmer

Royal Agricultural Society Queensland committee member Kerry Shine said the organisation was in shock over the incident, just two weeks after the society hosted 50,000 people without incident.  

He said colleagues of the young man knew him to be a hard worker and dedicated to the Work for the Dole program which saw him help maintain the sprawling grounds.

"I spoke to one of the ladies who worked with him on that program - very lively, chirpy she said," Mr Shine said.

"He got on well with his workmates and obviously they are in shock over what happened.

"As I understand it, the (man) was being conveyed on a trailer being pulled by a tractor.

"Something happened and as a result of that he came off the trailer.

"It is a tragic accident and obviously everyone associated with the show society is very sad about it and offers its condolences to the immediate family.

"(The society) is going everything it can to help those concerned including supporting employees who were witnesses and workmates of the deceased."

Forensic Crash Unit investigators remained at the scene outside The Burger House, a short distance uphill from the Showground's lake.

A single wheelie bin lay on its side of the flatbed trailer still attached to the red tractor as investigators marked the area.

The investigation was expected to take a several days after which the RASQ committee would review the report and consider its contents, but the first priority remained with supporting the man's family and society employees.

"Obviously the society will have to await the outcome of the investigations as to why did the accident occur and consequently upon that, we will have to take whatever action is necessary to remedy any problem that may come to light," Mr Shine said.

"Two weeks ago there were thousands of people here, vehicles going in all directions at that time and no accident occurs," he said.

"It happens today out of the blue in what would appear to be normally very safe work conditions."

 

Police at the scene of a fatal workplace incident at Toowoomba Showgrounds.
Police at the scene of a fatal workplace incident at Toowoomba Showgrounds. Kevin Farmer

3.50PM: The young man killed in a workplace incident at the Toowoomba Showgrounds had been on a government worker scheme.

The 18-year-old from Meringandan suffered critical head injuries in the incident currently under investigation by workplace health and safety.

Royal Agricultural Society Queensland committee member Kerry Shine said the thoughts and prayers of the organisation were with the young man's family "at this very difficult time".

2.40PM: Workplace Health and Safety is investigating an incident in which a Toowoomba teenager has died.

Police remain at the scene of what is being treated as a workplace incident at the Toowoomba Showgrounds this afternoon.

An 18-year-old is believed to have fallen from a trailer and suffered critical injuries.

Desperate efforts by paramedics were unsuccessful in reviving the man who suffered critical head injuries.

1PM: A teenager has died after reportedly falling from a trailer in Toowoomba this afternoon.

Police are investigating after an 18-year-old man died following an incident at the Toowoomba Showgrounds shortly after noon.

Queensland Ambulance crews were called to the showgrounds at 12.20pm.

Paramedics reportedly performed CPR on the man but were unable to revive him.

Police are investigating the incident.



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