Emergency workers at the scene of the accident that claimed the life of Karl Langheinrich earlier this year.
Emergency workers at the scene of the accident that claimed the life of Karl Langheinrich earlier this year. Contributed

Widow begs council to improve road safety

THE widow of a man who died when their car plunged into the Tweed River at Uki has issued a plea for Tweed Shire Council to step up its efforts to avoid a repeat of the tragedy.

Karl Langheinrich died in February when the car he was driving crashed off Kyogle Rd after failing to negotiate a notorious bend north of Uki.

He was the third person to die at the site in little more than 12 months. A woman and her daughter died in January 2015 after a head-on crash at the same location.

Mr Langheinrich's widow, Wendy Sarkissian, said the bend is a noted black spot and more needs to be done to prevent another tragedy occurring there.

 

I watched my husband drown in front of me.

 

"I tried but I could not save him. I survived with my life. A guardrail would have saved his life," she said.

"I know I can't have my husband back but I can raise my voice in protest against poor and inexpert local road planning and beg the Tweed Shire Council to take immediate action to erect a guardrail and a median barrier to prevent head-on crashes."

Council confirmed that a number of measures had already been implemented at the site to improve safety.

The section of road was last month re-sealed with a skid-resistant surface and the speed limit has been lowered to 60kmh.

A radar-activated electronic advisory sign that warns drivers to slow down if their approach speed is too high has also been installed.

Council has also applied for Federal Blackspot funding for more works including reconstructing the roadway along the existing alignment and improving the pavement, drainage and guardrail.

A decision on the funding is expected early next year.

Dr Sarkissian, who will speak at the Mount Warning Hotel in Uki on Thursday ahead of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, said the current improvements do not address the real issue.

 

Karl Langheinrich's car is retrieved from the Tweed River.
Karl Langheinrich's car is retrieved from the Tweed River. Contributed

"I know that Karl was driving well below the speed limit because I was there," she said.

"We need a safer road system and, in this location, we urgently need a guardrail and a median barrier."


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