The search for a missing man has ended in tragedy after a body was recovered from an a ute that was found flipped upside down and submerged in a Gold Coast creek. It is believed the body belongs to David Horniman, 38, who was reported missing on Tuesday as rain pelted the Gold Coast.
“Police have located a body inside a vehicle in Canungra Creek, near Lamington National Park Road, earlier today,” Queensland Police said in a statement on Wednesday evening. “The body is believed to be that of a 38-year-old man who was reported missing from the Canungra area earlier this week.
“Police will prepare a report for the coroner.” Just before 11.30 am on Wednesday, a public member alerted police to the upturned vehicle, a white 2013 Isuzu D-Max. On Monday, Mr. Hornman was last seen leaving home on Lamington National Park Road at about 6 am and was wearing business attire.
He made no contact with his family after that time. In a separate tragedy in northwest Sydney, a man died after his car was trapped in floodwaters on Cattai Ridge Road in Glenorie just before 6.30 am on Wednesday.
He had been on the phone with emergency services, and his vehicle was found just after 1 pm with his body inside. Detective Inspector Chris Laird said the 25-year-old man was a Pakistani national on the first day of a new contracting job. “We can only speculate that he may not have known the area as locals would … he may not have seen the water as he drove in given the fact that the gates across the road were completely submerged,” he told reporters.
“Sadly, in hindsight, we can always say never drive into a swollen road, and that will form part of our inquiries.” Inspector Laird described the man’s death as an “absolute tragedy” and said it was a miracle no one else had been killed in Sydney’s catastrophic floods.
“We can only speculate again that, given what I have seen and the damage to the vehicle, that it could very well be that the electrics totally failed and he was simply unable to escape from the car, which is an absolute tragedy,” he said.
“Also, the fact that he was on the phone for so long is even more tragic and is going to form part of our inquiries as to what went on in the car and why this tragic accident occurred.
“You can only just imagine somebody fighting for their life to get out of the car — that’s what the inside damage of the car looked like.” Inspector Laird said there were no broken windows, and the man “clearly couldn’t get out.”