Man dies on killer highway
THE Pacific Highway death zone south of Urunga has claimed another life.
Two weeks after a serious crash on the infamous stretch of single-lane highway, a 54-year-old Gulmarrad man died in hospital yesterday morning.
The man suffered head injuries when his Jeep was involved in a head-on with a Ford Mondeo, five kilometres south of Urunga, on November 19 at about 7pm.
The accident happened on the notorious Hungry Head section of the highway, near Ballards Road.
His death takes the region’s road toll to a shocking 26 for the year.
To put that figure into perspective, police were alarmed by the mounting road toll heading into the Christmas holidays last year.
In 2009, to December 3, there had been 17 road fatalities in the Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley regions – a figure that prompted police to call it one of the worst years of carnage on our roads.
Throughout The Advocate’s campaign for immediate action on the Pacific Highway south of Coffs Harbour, many readers have made meaningful contributions.
None moreso than one person who asked us to compare the loss of life on the highway in our region with the ‘ultimate price’ paid by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.
As the writer explained in their email, the aim was not to detract from the important service and sacrifice made by Australian troops but simply to question why the deaths of motorists on the national highway no longer warranted national media attention.
The figures are startling. More than 60 people have lost their life on the stretch of highway between Maclean and Macksville in the past five years.
In comparison, 21 Australian soldiers and one New Zealand soldier have died in the nine-year, billion-dollar, Afghanistan conflict.