PREDICTABLE: Nearby residents have long been predicting a car accident would take place at the intersection of Kerr and Bentinc
PREDICTABLE: Nearby residents have long been predicting a car accident would take place at the intersection of Kerr and Bentinc

WE TOLD YOU SO

By MARY MANN

WHEN Jim Cross heard the loud screech of two vehicles crashing into each other at Ballina on Tuesday evening, one of the first thoughts to run through his head was 'we told you so'.

It was about 6.30pm, and as Mr Cross sat down to watch some television at home, a black Mazda 121 and a white ute towing a caravan collided nearby, at the intersection of Kerr and Bentinck streets.

Mr Cross is one of a number of residents who say they 'warned' Ballina Shire Council an accident like this was likely to happen after it installed a central median strip at the intersection of Grant and Bentinck streets, east of the crash site.

But the council says there is no indication the accident was related directly to changes it made at the Grant/Bentinck intersection.

Inspector Mick Dempsey said the driver of the Mazda, who failed to give way at the intersection, was taken to Lismore Base Hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the ute was not injured.

"People should take care at the intersection and make sure they give way properly," Inspector Dempsey said.

Karen O'Connor, a Bentinck Street resident who took photos of the crash, said other witnesses saw the four-wheel drive flip a couple of times.

The controversial median strip blocks west-bound traffic travelling along the busy Bentinck Street from turning right into Grant Street, to head to the two major shopping centres in town.

Instead many motorists continue to the Kerr Street intersection, where the Pacific Highway traffic thunders through.

Residents said the black car was attempting to turn right out of Bentinck Street towards the shopping centres, but police were yesterday unable to confirm that.

"I get so frustrated with this. We knew something like this was going to happen," Mr Cross said.

"It's so simple, they shouldn't have pushed traffic along to Kerr Street. The intersection is dangerous."

Residents have been protesting against the median strip since the council first suggested it be installed more than a year ago.

They wanted a roundabout instead, saying the strip would only shift the problem. The council didn't have the funds for a roundabout but has since applied for blackspot funding for one.

Ballina Shire Council's civil services group manager John Truman said right turns at the Kerr/Bentinck intersection 'were there before the median strip was installed'.

"The intersection of Kerr and Bentinck streets has long been identified by council as one that would benefit from upgrade works," he said.

But it wasn't 'symptomatic' of any new trend of accident history linked to the implementation of the Grant Street project.



Man 'hit and dragged' by car in busy street

Man 'hit and dragged' by car in busy street

The incident reportedly occurred after an argument

WATCH: Car crash video sparks debate over new road rule

WATCH: Car crash video sparks debate over new road rule

'Nothing but a dangerous revenue raising scam'

GALLERY: Nimbin show turns on the charm

premium_icon GALLERY: Nimbin show turns on the charm

Were you spotted at the Nimbin Show?

Local Partners