The scene of a crash on Bangalow Rd, near Friday Hut Rd.
The scene of a crash on Bangalow Rd, near Friday Hut Rd. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Crashes highlight road's dangers

A SUCCESSION of car crashes on one of the region's busiest roads has brought Bangalow Rd and its flaws into the spotlight.

Just after 6pm on Tuesday, 35-year-old Glenn Murphy was killed in a crash on Bangalow Rd at Binna Burra.

Mr Murphy was the passenger in a station wagon, driven by a 54-year-old Lismore man, when the station wagon and a southbound Holden Statesman collided just south of the Friday Hut Road intersection.

Byron Bay Police Inspector Greg Jago said it appeared one of the cars crossed into the opposite lane.

Mr Murphy died at the scene and the other two patients were rushed to Lismore Base Hospital

A man who worked tirelessly alongside off-duty Lismore police officer Sergeant Jackie Lilley to perform CPR on Mr Murphy visited the scene of the tragedy yesterday.

"I came to the passenger side and saw he was in a bad way," the Binna Burra resident, who asked not to be named, said.

"The passenger was trapped and I gave him CPR for 20 minutes before I was relieved by an off-duty paramedic." The man said the bend where the crash occurred was dangerous when taken too fast.

The accident follows a crash near Clunes three days earlier that left five people injured.

A day later, a woman lost control of her vehicle while coming down the steep descent before the Binna Burra Rd intersection.

The spate of accidents has sparked discussion about what can be done to fix Bangalow Rd.

Figures released by NSW Roads and Maritime Services show the amount of traffic on Bangalow Rd has almost doubled in the last 20 years.

Despite the dangerously winding road doubling its vehicle volume from 4600 per day in 1990 to 8000 in 2012, the RMS says the newly-opened Alstonville and Ballina bypasses will reduce Bangalow Rd traffic this year.

Helen Parsons lives on the verge of a Bangalow Rd black spot at the intersection of Eureka Rd.

Different from the usual calls for a decreased speed limit and upgrades to the road's camber, Ms Parsons pointed out that recent roadworks to the Eureka Rd intersection including a new turning lane, were not sufficient.

"When you approach Bangalow Rd (in Eureka Rd) you still can't see what is coming from your left," she said.

"There are some bad spots because you only have two overtaking lanes and they are only short."

However, she stressed the importance of driving to the road's winding conditions, which included slowing down in the rain.

Do you think Bangalow Rd should be upgraded?

SMS 0428 264 948, email opinions@northernstar.com.au or leave a comment below.



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