Resident calls for New Ballina Road upgrade
TRACY BIRCH knows how deadly car accidents can be. In 2006, on Mother's Day, both her parents were killed in a head-on collision in Western Australia.
Last Thursday, Mrs Birch was forced to relive the trauma of their deaths when a 64-year-old woman ran her car down an embankment and into a tree in New Ballina Road at Lismore Heights.
It was 6.30am and Mrs Birch had just woken up when she heard an incredibly loud smash. When she ran out into the street, she couldn't see a thing. But as she crossed the road she saw the wreck of the woman's car at the bottom of a 10-metre embankment, smashed against a tree.
Inside Mrs Birch discovered the woman unconscious. She flagged down a passing car and asked them to call an ambulance before returning to the woman.
Mrs Birch said although she was crying and in shock, she was able to squeeze her arm through the door to hold the injured woman's hand.
“I was a mess,” Mrs Birch said. “I was having trouble breathing.”
The woman had to be cut from her car. She suffered a broken neck and back and was taken to a Brisbane hospital, where she remains in an induced coma.
Three weeks earlier, a 38-year-old man lost control of his car at the same spot.
Although his car was a right-off, he walked away without a scratch.
Mrs Birch blames the poor state of New Ballina Road.
“It's not wide enough, it is uneven and it needs safety barriers,” she said.
Mrs Birch said she had written three letters to the Lismore City Council.
A spokeswoman for the council said it had received Mrs Birch's letter and the road was on the priority works list. The road would be discussed at next month's Traffic Advisory Committee meeting, she said.