Two crashes in one day on Pacific Highway
The first accident happened about two kilometres south of Bangalow at 6.15am, when a B-double truck laden with meat pies and ice-cream overturned in the north-bound lane.
The rear of the truck smashed over the embankment into trees and the front overturned.
The driver, a 38-year-old man, was taken to Ballina District Hospital with minor injuries.
In the second accident, a car crashed on the highway near the Bangalow off-ramp about 2.30pm, just south of where the first crash happened.
The driver, a 75-year-old woman, was taken to Byron District Hospital with minor injuries.
Two fire brigade crews, from Bangalow and Newrybar, were on the scene yesterday to clean up the debris of strewn meat pies and melting ice-cream tubs.
The highway was closed for about an hour after the first crash, and then north and south-bound traffic was stalled for several hours as crews continued the clean-up.
Newrybar campaigner Bob Deards said the crashes highlighted the urgent need for the Tintenbar-to-Ewingsdale Pacific Highway upgrade, which has been delayed for at least another two years under the State Government’s recently-released mini-Budget.
But Mr Deards, also President of lobby group Water Catchers and Water Drinkers of the Ballina Shire, said they also showed why the route should not be taken through the Emigrant Creek catchment area, as currently proposed.
“If that truck accident was five kilometres back towards Newrybar, any fuel spill would have run off the road and into the catchment,” Mr Deards said. “One cup full of diesel would be enough to taint Ballina’s drinking water – it is such a highly toxic product.”
“And our association has legal advice that supports our view that the construction and operation of the proposed alignment will not comply with environmental legislation – why build a new road straight through the water catchment?”
The group wants an independent panel to examine the impact of the planned upgrade on the Emigrant Creek Dam water catchment.
A spokesperson for NSW Roads Minister Michael Daley said a detailed assessment by the RTA had found water quality in Emigrant Creek Dam could be maintained under the existing upgrade plan.