Truckie farewelled after long, brave battle

Much loved truckie and staunch campaigner for better conditions and facilities for drivers, Lindsay Cavill, has passed away at the age of 56.

Cavill was seriously injured on April 8, 2022, when a large square bale of hay fell on him while unloading at a feedlot in Charters Towers. He required surgery on his back and neck, and suffered 18 broken ribs, a dislocated hip, along with many other internal injuries.

The accident resulted in Cavill becoming a quadriplegic. Before his passing, he had been learning to master an electric wheel chair using chin controls.

Sadly, he never made it home from hospital and passed away on February 18, 2023, 10 months after the accident.

“It was the second time he had been to that feedlot that week and was early in the morning. A bale of hay fell off the truck and it hit him. I believe they weigh about 400kg per bale,” explained his partner Ann Nelson.

Cavill was taken to Charter Towers Hospital by ambulance, before being air lifted to Townsville and ending up in ICU. The next morning he was put into an induced coma and flown to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, where he passed away last month.

“He had suffered massive injuries and was in hospital battling all that time. A workplace safety investigation hasn’t been finalised. I hope the outcome of the investigation compels workplaces to better protect drivers,” explained Nelson, who had only been a week out of hospital at the time of her husband’s accident, following complicated knee surgery.

With herself based in Townsville and Cavill in hospital in Brisbane, Nelson would fly over to see him every three weeks for many months.

Nelson says Cavill will be remembered as always being kind and thoughtful, and looking out for others.

“In hospital, he was well liked by fellow patients and staff. He was always looking out for his fellow patients too,” she said.

Cavill was an owner operator based in the rural Townsville suburb of Woodstock.

Born in Townsville, he was the youngest of three children to Roy and Joy Cavill. He was a much loved partner to Ann Nelson.

Cavill attended Woodstock State School and worked at Calcium Mine and also did some butchering for well-known Ralph Savill.

Long-time friend Nick Roberts, who runs Nix Transport at Major’s Creek, has fond memories of Cavill.

“Lindsay remained on the family property at Woodstock where he ran cattle and his freight business with his faithful Freightliner carrying out road train work for himself and subbing to other freight companies,” Roberts said.

“He had a heart of gold and would push himself beyond limits to help anyone. One of his challenges was fighting to better road train facilities for operators, especially the breakdown pad on the Woodstock/Giru road which has been used by many truck drivers over the years but came under fire from the transport department recently.”

Cavill’s family were genuine pioneers of the region, having been at Woodstock since the 1880s.

A memorial service for Lindsay Cavill will be held on Friday March 17, at 2pm, at the Townsville Cremations and Funerals Chapel, 3 Railway Avenue, Railway Estate.

The family has requested those in attendance wear bright colours on the day.

The service will also be livestreamed on the Townsville Cremations website.

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