Family sues over horror gas tanker crash

THE husband and children of a woman killed in a gas tanker crash which turned into a major emergency have filed a multimillion-dollar claim against the driver.

Cairns woman Dagmar Henley, 39, was a passenger in the Elgas tanker which left the road and crashed into a culvert north of Ellis Beach in January 2015.

She died at the scene.

The gas tanker that rolled on the Captain Cook Highway North of Ellis Beach in 2015. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
The gas tanker that rolled on the Captain Cook Highway North of Ellis Beach in 2015. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

Two police officers have since received bravery awards over the terrifying incident after they worked to free the pair as gas poured from the tanker and the engine burned, threatening to ignite.

One of them was with the pair when Mrs Henley died and had to stop water that was flowing into the truck cabin on to the driver.

Legal representatives for Mrs Henley's husband Samuel, 59, along with children Johanna, 12, and Matilda, 8, have lodged a claim in the Cairns Supreme Court for more than $2.1 million against tanker driver Richard Thomas Bak and the vehicle's insurer.

Dagmar Henley, 39, a German national who died in a gas tanker rollover near Ellis Beach.
Dagmar Henley, 39, a German national who died in a gas tanker rollover near Ellis Beach.

It was never publicly revealed why Mrs Henley was in the tanker at the time and the company did not permit passengers.

Despite police never charging Mr Bak over the accident, the Henley family has claimed in the court filing he drove carelessly, at excessive speed and in an unsafe manner on a dark stretch of road in the rain.

"The incident and subsequent death of the deceased was caused by negligence of the (driver)," their claim said.

The amount they are claiming for is based on Mrs Henley's future income.

Dagmar Henley, pictured with her daughters Matilda and Johanna.
Dagmar Henley, pictured with her daughters Matilda and Johanna.

The claim said at the time of her death she was working part time at Cairns Coconut Resort earning $559 per week but had been planning to go full time.

It said Samuel was now no longer able to work in his trade as a carpenter as he was unwell and needed surgery.

The driver and insurer are yet to file documents in court. A court date is yet to be set.