AS if the grief were not enough, the parents of Nathan Zanuso, who was tragically killed on the Pacific Highway in February, have been ignored by NSW Premier Kristina Keneally’s office despite four emails asking for some kind of explanation for their son’s death.
The emails explain how the 4WD ute driven by 26-year-old Nathan Zanuso, a rope-access technician well regarded for his safety record, was hit head-on by a B Double truck which crossed the highway about 4.40am on Thursday, February 11 and how the young man died in a Newcastle hospital eight days later.
Leonie and Paul Zanuso, who live in the Victorian/NSW border town of Wodonga, asked the NSW Premier to explain why the highway had not been converted to dual lane despite massive bus crashes, coroner’s recommendations and the hundreds of lives that have been lost over the years on the notorious roadway.
The first email, entitled Why?, was dated April 12, 2010, and the latest, entitled Silence is Golden, was sent last Thursday.
The response the Zanusos did receive came from NSW Director-General David Swain who offered his condolences and promised to pass the letter on to Transport Minister David Campbell.
“A response from Keneally would have been nice,” Leonie said. “It just shows that they don’t really give two hoots do they?
“I won’t drive on the Pacific Highway – it’s not safe. It’s not just about Nathan, it’s about everybody up there.
“I said to Nathan ‘the roads are just not up to scratch up there, don’t drive at night.’ I just had a feeling.
“I said ‘they (the roads) are not like here’ and he just said ‘I’m a good driver mum’.”
Leonie, who was holidaying in New Zealand when the crash occurred, said she awoke early that morning knowing something was wrong.
“You won’t change what’s happened now but my son’s died; something good has to come of this.
“If he could hear me he would say – ‘yeah get the highway fixed’.”
Nathan’s legacy has Leonie and Paul determined to keep the pressure up on all levels of government to fix the highway.
“Every time we buy fuel we pay taxes and we deserve decent Federal highways.
“I live in Victoria where we have good roads and dual carriageways.
“We are adamant Nathan wouldn’t have died if it was dual carriageway, nor would a lot of the fatalities that are happening.”
It has now been 102 days since the mayors of Clarence Valley, Richmond Shire and Coffs Harbour councils sent letters to NSW Premier Kristina Keneally and Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell inviting them to take a tour of the Pacific Highway between Coffs Harbour and Ballina.
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