A SLIGHT silver lining is beginning to form around the dark cloud which has cast the Whitaker family into despair.
Enjoying some quality family time at last night’s Redcliffe meeting, Gary and Joedy Whitaker had their lives thrown into turmoil as a result of a freak accident.
The couple stood next to the fence to watch the next race on the card when they were struck by the mobile gate’s arm, which failed to retract.
In what has been described as “horrific scenes”, the Whitaker’s two children were also hit, with the youngsters bearing the brunt of the force.
Two-year-old Lara spent the evening a critical condition with severe facial and internal injuries, with Josh suffering non-life threatening.
To the Whitakers’ relief Lara has stabilised this afternoon, but remains in critical condition.
Josh has shown “great improvement” which has seen him moved to a hospital ward.
“To all the well wishes thank you from the bottom of hearts,” Joedy said via social media.
“Lara is in critical but stable condition and has a long slow recovery ahead of her and remains in ICU. Josh is now on the ward and is showing great improvement.
“A massive thank you to our harness racing family and friends as your support means the world to us and is what is helping get us through.
“We will update again once we have further news. Please be patient with us at this time, we have a great support network around us.”
Police attended the scene, with Sergeant Greg Price explaining statements have been taken from numerous witnesses.
“The incident was witnessed by numerous people,” Price said. “It is a tragedy to see the injuries to a young child, two-and-a-half years old.”
The driver of the mobile is being monitored by family and friends due to his emotional mental state.
Police have released the track as a crime scene, but along with workplace health and safety officers will continue to investigate the incident.