Highway death toll rises

A TEENAGER from Broadwater died by the side of the Pacific Highway on Saturday afternoon after being struck by a vehicle on a blind corner just a few kilometres north of town.

According to police, the teenager, aged 13, was at the junction of Boundary Creek Road and the highway when the accident occurred, just after 3pm.

The victim's name has not yet been released.

Police said the teenager was running across the highway when he was struck by a north-bound ute.

He died at the scene, despite attempts by a passing doctor to revive him.

The Ballina Crash Investigation Unit is preparing a report for the coroner.

A nearby resident said the teenager, a Year 8 student at Xavier Catholic College, Skennars Head, was apparently rolling oranges along, or across, the highway at the Boundary Creek Road junction - which is a notorious corner known for its poor visibility for both north and south-bound traffic.

Saturday's tragic death brings to four the number of people killed on the Pacific Highway between Wardell and Woodburn in the past month.

Recently there was a double fatality involving three trucks within Broadwater's 50km/h zone, on the highway outside the public school, and last week a motorist was killed when his car crashed into a passing cane truck south of Broadwater.

The RTA has plans to bypass the three river towns of Woodburn, Broadwater and Wardell.

A preferred route has been chosen which includes bypasses of Broadwater and Woodburn to the east of those townships and a bridge over the Richmond River just north of Boundary Creek.

But there are no funds allocated for this project and it appears it may be many years before work takes place on this stretch of relatively quiet highway.

RTA figures show traffic flow between Coffs Harbour and Ballina to be the lowest between Sydney and the Queensland border.

However, the RTA has hinted that Broadwater and Woodburn might be bypassed as individual towns before the rest of the local highway upgrade is complete.

In the meantime residents at Broadwater are uniting to fight for a speed camera at the northern end of town, to put the brakes on speeding vehicles before they enter the town's 50km/h limit.

Resident Louise Moore, who lives at the extreme southern end of Broadwater, said traffic going past her home of 23 years had increased enormously in the past few years and speeding vehicles were now the norm.

“You should sit on my verandah between 9pm and 6am,” she said. “You wouldn't believe the speed some of these vehicles are doing. You don't need a speed camera to find out if they are going too fast. They overtake on double lines. We just sit waiting for the inevitable to happen.”

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