Father’s tribute to son tragically killed in Qld mine

FAMILY members of a 33-year-old mine worker crushed to death in a horrific workplace accident have described him as "the most kind considerate person". 

Donald Rabbitt, originally from Goondiwindi, was the victim of the tragic accident at the Curragh Coal Mine near Blackwater on Sunday.

Mr Rabbitt, a Thiess tyre fitter, was believed to have been changing the tyre of a low-loader when he was crushed by the machine just after 4pm.

It is understood he was just about to finish his shift when the incident occurred.

Donald had just finished saving for a house he planned to buy with his girlfriend.
Donald had just finished saving for a house he planned to buy with his girlfriend.

Robin Rabbitt said "nothing was ever too much trouble" for his son and "best friend".

"Donny was the most kind considerate person; he was honest, he started working at 15-years-old fitting tyres, he loved work and he worked hard," Mr Rabbitt said. 

"He loved coming to Goondiwindi to see his family and friends.

"He would always come up and do jobs around the house, he'd be up here all the time helping me doing jobs like mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, laundry, tidying up.

"I don't have a car licence and he'd pick me up and take me to the doctors.

"Nothing was too much trouble for him to help anyone."

Mr Rabbitt said his son had his whole life in front of him and was taken far too soon. 

"He had just saved up $200,000 to buy a house with his girlfriend, they were looking at homes," he said. 

"I said to him on Sunday (last week) when he left here 'when are you going to give me some grandchildren, Don?' and he said 'we've got to get our house first'."

Family, friends and co-workers of Mr Rabbitt have taken to social media to voice their grief over the loss of the man who was remembered as a "beautiful son, nephew, uncle, grandson, taken too soon".

"Today I have lost a beautiful grandson and the heartache is unbearable," his grandmother Gail Stevens wrote.

"Please dear god do not take any more of my loved ones."

Relative Yas Sam wrote about cherished childhood memories with Donald.

"Will never forget the pool and corner shop trips and playing in Nan's backyard," Ms Sam wrote.

"Goes to show even changing a tyre on a truck can go horribly wrong. This one has hit really close to home."

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland are investigating the mining death, which is the eighth in the state in the past 18 months.

Mr Rabbitt said he needed answers about what happened to his son on Sunday. 

"I want to know what happened to my son, and I seem to be having a lot of trouble to find out," he said. 

"He had his whole life in front of him and now he's dead and I'll never see him again. 

"I loved him very much." 


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