B-double ploughs into Ballina house
By Dawn Cohen
Rachel Adams had an early morning wake-up call yesterday when a B-double truck ploughed into her Ballina home, stopping two metres from her bed.
The 26-year-old student was asleep in the front bedroom of her great-uncle's Kerr Street home when she was woken by a loud crash at 4.15am.
"It sounded like the house was falling down," she said.
Her great-uncle, Victor Record, knew instantly it was a truck. "I have been expecting it for years," he said.
Ballina Fire Brigade captain Dennis Henry said it appeared the accident may have been caused by a four-wheeldrive ignoring a give-way sign after travelling west down Bentinck Street and on to Kerr Street.
"It struck the truck travelling on Kerr Street (a section of the Pacific Highway). The truck then jack-knifed out of control, but nobody was hurt," he said.
The B-double hit the garage roof of Mr Record's neighbour, causing minor damage, and then smashed through Mr Record's front fence, and garden, writing off Rachel's jeep, which was parked in the yard.
It destroyed the patio, and stopped two metres short of Rachel's bedroom window.
"She is lucky to be alive," said Mr Record. "The truckie apologised for waking me up so early."
It was Rachel's first night of a week-long visit for university courses. "I won't be making it to my seminars today," said the Sydney woman.
Chairman of the Ballina Bypass Action Group, Councillor Alan Brown, said the accident was inevitable.
"I'm pretty angry ? it's so disappointing that nothing is being done. It's not necessarily the B-doubles at fault, it's the volume of traffic using the highway that is causing accidents," he said.
"The State Government should get on with it. The Federal Government has put $115 million towards its (the Ballina bypass's) construction but nothing has been done.
Ballina resident Ken Hope, who heard the accident, said it was another warning for Premier Bob Carr to get the bypass under way.
"The girl was very lucky, we live about 40 metres from their house and it was very frightening when I heard the crash," he said.
Mr Hope said the truck also came close to hitting the home of a 100-year-old woman neighbouring the damaged house.
Victor Record and his great-niece, Rachel Adams, stand on the patio which was demolished by the B-double truck.