The driver of a ute that sparked the freak gas explosion in a far north Queensland cafe has been told of the devastating accident after waking from a coma.
Brian Scutt, 60, broke his back when he suffered a medical condition and crashed into a gas bottle behind the Serves You Right Cafe at Ravenshoe on June 9, killing two people and seriously injuring 18 more.
He woke from a coma in the Cairns Base Hospital last week and has now been told some of the basic details of what happened by his family.
“We’ve informed him of what’s happened and he’s taken it about as well as you can imagine. He’s obviously still very upset,” son James told ABC Radio.
James said the news was a shock to his father.
“It was heart-breaking,” he said.
“He literally had no idea. He thought he was in hospital for his own health problems.”
While Mr Scutt knows the accident had lethal consequences, the family has shielded him from specific details – instead focusing on restoring him to full health.
A fundraising appeal set up after the accident has also raised more than $400,000 so far, with the aim to reach half-a-million dollars.
“People all want to do their bit – it’s just lovely, it has pulled people together,” Ravenshoe Chamber of Commerce secretary Ro Mountney told The Cairns Post.
“The story has touched a lot of people Australia-wide and the response has been overwhelming.”