Dedicated Mackay motorcyclist Wes Carlton was tragically killed in a highway crash in New South Wales on Sunday.
Dedicated Mackay motorcyclist Wes Carlton was tragically killed in a highway crash in New South Wales on Sunday.

CQ motorcycle chapter 'shattered' by rider's death

A MACKAY motorcyclist better known as "Pop" was killed in a tragic crash while riding with mates in northern New South Wales.
Wes Carlton, 55, was critically injured in a head-on collision with a Kia Rio at Summerland Way on Sunday afternoon and died at the scene. 

It is understood Mr Carlton had been riding with six fellow members of the central Queensland chapter of the Sons of the Southern Cross social motorcycle club.

Central Queensland motorcycle club member Ron Wise said three other members of the club who were on the ride received serious injuries and were in hospital. 

Jeff "Wellsy" Wells was admitted to Lismore Base Hospital's ICU in a serious condition and remained so at time of print, Stephen "Browny" Brown was also admitted to Lismore and in a stable condition receiving treatment for leg fractures, while Ken "Smiley" Hyde had been admitted to Gold Coast University Hospital where he was also in a stable condition and receiving treatment for leg fractures.

The two remaining members of the club on the ride, Peter "Wacky" Williams and Jason "Pom" Powell, walked away from the fatal crash without injury.

The six riders had left Mackay on Saturday morning.

"It is with great sadness to announce our Central Qld chapter has lost a brother and another three are in hospital due to an accident near Kyogle on Sunday," the club said in a Facebook post yesterday.

"RIP Pop, our condolences to Pop's family and friends.

"Wishing for a speedy recovery for the boys in hospital."

Mr Carlton was a beloved and active member of the central Queensland motorcycle club and had earned the nickname "Pop" due to the style of his Harley Davidson, which some referred to as an "old man's bike".

But he once insisted to the Daily Mercury the comfortable seat, backrest and modified pegs on his 2010 Harley-Davidson Road King came in handy during long-haul rides.

Mr Carlton used his love of motorcycling to raise funds for charity as recently as this past April, when he participated in the Everyday Hero/Longride in April 2019. 

The ride stretched from Emerald to Darwin and raised funds for prostate cancer research.

At the time, Mr Carlton said losing his father to prostate cancer was one of the hardest things he'd had to endure in life. 

He said he took part in the ride because he wanted to help others avoid the grief he had experienced.

"So ... to help raise awareness and funds to fight this deadly disease, I have decided to do something proactive," Mr Carlton said. 

The tragic crash had left the club shattered with members of the club, community and other motorcycle clubs stretching all the way to South Australia posting tributes to "Pop" and messages of condolences on the central Queensland motorcycle club's Facebook page. 

One message posted by Marvin Caron Stray read: "You were a true gentleman . . . a good friend. We will never forget your kindness and beautiful smile."