Tragic crash leaves boy an orphan

Picture of Adleen, Douglas and Lester Tschumy at Christmas, 2009.
Picture of Adleen, Douglas and Lester Tschumy at Christmas, 2009. Contributed

TOOWOOMBA schoolboy Douglas Tschumy is due to leave a Brisbane hospital today after surviving a tragic car crash which left him an orphan.

Long-serving Toowoomba Regional Council worker Lester Tschumy, 53, died on Wednesday when the car he was driving and a truck collided about 10km south of Gayndah on the Burnett Hwy.

His 12-year-old son Douglas was flown from Gayndah Hospital to the Royal Brisbane Hospital with chest injuries while fellow passenger Shirley Tschumy received minor injuries.

Mr Tschumy's sister-in-law Marilyn Greer said his death came only a year after his wife and Douglas' mother Adleen Tschumy died of breast cancer.

"Douglas is still in shock," Mrs Greer said.

"The family is dealing with it as best as they can."

Mrs Greer said Douglas learned of his father's fate the day after the crash.

His aunts, uncles and cousins gathered by his hospital bed to give him the grim news.

"All of the family will be involved as much as possible to support him."

She said Douglas would live with an aunt and uncle at Southbrook.

Mr Tschumy was on his way back to Toowoomba after visiting relatives in the Central Highlands when the crash occurred.

His sister-in-law remembered him as a dedicated member of the Parents and Citizens committee at his son's school, Harristown State School.

"He was always involved in fundraising."

She said Mr Tschumy and his wife Adleen had been married for 30 years before she succumbed to her five-year-battle with cancer.

Mr Tschumy had been employed with Toowoomba City Council and the Toowoomba Regional Council for about 35 years.

"If there was something to be done, he was always willing to give a hand," she said.

Mr Tschumy's brother-in-law Garry Greer said he had been in contact with Mr Tschumy's work colleagues.

"They were very sad to hear what had happened," he said.

Mr Greer said they had indicated they would form a guard of honour for Mr Tschumy at his funeral.

The service will be held at Burtows Chapel from 12.30pm on July 17. Friends and family are welcome.

Topics:  car crash fatal crash orphan

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