Three crashes on wet Bruxner Hwy
PEAK-hour traffic on the Bruxner Highway between Alstonville and Lismore was in chaos yesterday morning when two people were injured in three separate crashes.
The highway crashes, and another two on Oliver Avenue at Goonellabah, left frustrated police appealing for drivers to slow down on the region’s wet roads as the Bureau of Meteorology predicted another two days of rain before a fine weekend.
In yesterday’s first crash an 84-year-old Alstonville woman was taken to Lismore Base Hospital after she walked on to the highway at Perrys Hill at Alstonville and was hit by a car.
It is believed the car could have been travelling as fast as 80km/h.
The woman’s head hit the car windscreen and she suffered serious head and leg injuries.
Her 92-year-old sister told police the woman had gone to cross the highway to wait for a bus to Ballina.
The driver of the car, a 66-year-old Alstonville man, was breath tested at the scene and returned a negative result.
In a second crash the highway was closed at Richmond Hill, causing long delays for commuters, after a 19-year-old man crashed his utility about 7am.
Emergency service workers and rescue crews worked for more than an hour to free the trapped P-plate driver from the mangled wreck.
It is understood the driver worked for Reed Constructions and was on his way to work on the Alstonville bypass.
He suffered multiple leg fractures and was taken to Lismore Base Hospital in aserious but stable condition.
Traffic had to be diverted at Lindendale along Alphadale Road and Rous Road.
Motorists were stuck in the chaos for up to two hours.
Leading Senior Constable John Koina said the young man was lucky to have survived the accident.
The man had lost control of the ute about 200m east of the Richmond Hill turn-off and slid off the road, where the car ‘impacted heavily’ with a tree on the driver’s side door.
“The prangs I go to, I see a lot of people die with a lot less than that,” he said.
Snr Const Koina praised the actions of police, fire-fighters and ambulance officers at the scene, saying it was one of the best co-ordinated accidents he had been to.
He said the positioning of the ute meant police rescue officers had to virtually dismantle it around the young man to get him out.
The victims of both accidents were still in stable conditions at hospital last night.
A third minor accident on the highway late yesterday afternoon added to the chaos when a truck and car collided at the roundabout at Rous Road.
Bill Ward, of Lismore-based Bill Ward Transport, said the accidents could have been caused by problems with resurfacing works at Binna Burra and along the highway between Goonellabah and Alstonville.
“The accident potential is high when it’s a rough surface over a smooth surface,” he said.
The rain was also a factor in yesterday’s accidents, reducing visibility and making the road slippery.
Lismore received 21mm of rain between 9am and 5pm yesterday, with 42mm at Alstonville and 31mm at Tuckombil.
And the wet weather looks set to continue until Saturday.
Richmond Local Area Command duty officer, Inspector Paul Fredericks, implored drivers to slow down on the wet roads.
“We really urge motorists to take care and drive to the conditions,” he said.