Possessions are swept away by the water.
Possessions are swept away by the water.

Flood witness remembers ute 'spinning' in raging water

A FORMER Grantham quarry worker has recounted his shock at seeing people clinging to a ute "spinning" in raging water during the 2011 flood that killed 12 people.

Bob Stephenson on Monday told the inquiry into the Lockyer Valley disaster that a woman watching the rising flood with him was the daughter of the man holding onto the ute.

Mr Stephenson said when the woman's father went under, she believed she had just seen her father drown. But he survived.

"That was enough for us, we just bolted," Mr Stephenson said.

He thought a rural fire brigade truck was turning towards the woman's father and his partner holding onto the ute, but instead it was washed away in floodwater.

One of the inquiry's aims is to determine whether the existence or breach of the Grantham quarry, a sand plant, worsened the flooding.


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The quarry owner at the time of the flood, Denis Wagner, denied the quarry impacted the flood when he gave evidence at the hearing last week.

After viewing aerial photographs of the quarry, he agreed part of a bund wall appeared to have been human-made. But he said his employees did not build up the wall.

Mr Stephenson, who stopped working at the quarry before Wagners acquired it, said there were no bund walls at the plant before he left.

He said the quarry never had anything classified as overburden.

Colin MacKenzie, who investigated what caused the power pole at the Grantham quarry to snap and Channel 9 chief pilot Robert Ward also gave evidence on Monday.

Police officers and Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Steve Jones and CEO Ian Flint will give evidence at the inquiry on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The hearing is expected to continue until August 21.