TWO LISMORE PRIESTS KILLED
By Will Jackson and David Moase
TWO Catholic priests working in the Lismore Diocese were killed in a head-on collision at a known black spot near Arrawarra Creek, north of Woolgoolga, yesterday morning.
The men, aged 45 and 50, were driving north on the Pacific Highway around 7:30am when their Mitsubishi sedan collided with a southbound four-wheel-drive vehicle towing a caravan.
Three people, a 37-year-old back-seat passenger in the sedan and the two occupants of the four-wheel-drive, were injured.
The 64-year-old driver of the four-wheel-drive was transferred to the Royal North Shore Hospital in a stable condition.
His passenger, a 59-year-old woman, and the survivor from the sedan were both in a stable condition at Coffs Harbour Base Hospital last night.
The names of the two priests have not been released. Church spokesperson Fr Peter Karam last night confirmed the two men were working in the Lismore Diocese.
He said attempts were being made to contact their families.
"At this stage no further details will be released as next of kin have not been advised," he said.
The accident site was just 100 metres from where Sandy Beach man Robert Lindsay Taylor was killed in a smash a little over a week ago. It was also close to where Queensland policeman Stewart Kerlin was killed in a highway head-on last November.
Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, yesterday called on Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal and Premier Morris Iemma to immediately visit Coffs Harbour to view the state of the highway.
He repeated his request for safety barriers to be installed along the stretch. All three recent fatal crashes involved a car crossing to the wrong side of the road.
"The Pacific Highway is currently claiming at least one life a week on sections of the highway that have not yet been upgraded," he said. "It is imperative that the Government address the driving conditions in these areas to minimise the opportunity for lives to be lost."