News

Australia's worst crash

The Advocate reported a plea to upgrade the highway to dual carriageway just days after the crash and 20 years on, the message remains the same.
The Advocate reported a plea to upgrade the highway to dual carriageway just days after the crash and 20 years on, the message remains the same.

AS families, rescuers and survivors of Australia’s worst road accident gather to mark the 20th anniversary of the crash, some are still angry that the section of road still has not been upgraded.

But others point to the steady progress being made on upgrading the Pacific Highway.

Twenty years ago today, 35 people lost their lives and another 41 were injured when two buses collided on the Pacific Highway at Clybucca Flat 12km north of Kempsey.

The two full tourist coaches collided head-on, killing both drivers instantly.

The impact snapped seats from their anchor bolts so that both seats and passengers were hurled about the vehicles with terrific force, trapping people and their luggage against the back of the bus.

The force of the impact left the McCafferty’s Sydney-bound coach in the cabin of the TransCity Brisbane-bound coach.

The accident triggered a major response from police, SES and volunteer rescuers, fire brigades and paramedics.

A fleet of air ambulances and helicopters carried injured people to hospitals at Kempsey, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Sydney.

A NSW Coroner’s inquiry into the coach collision found that the McCafferty’s driver fell asleep at the wheel.

The coroner renewed calls for a dual-carriageway highway between Newcastle and the Queensland border, following 21 deaths in the Cowper bus crash two months earlier.

The coroner also recommended research into coach seats, seat anchorages and seatbelts and better emergency exits for coaches.

Former Federal Member for Cowper, Garry Nehl, who had been campaigning for a dual-carriageway Pacific Highway from Hexham to the Queensland border since he first ran for Parliament in 1984, the Clybucca Bus Crash (and the preceding Cowper bus crash) are still vivid memories.

“I was in Canberra and Parliament was sitting,” Mr Nehl said.

“It is very clear in my memory – not only the people who died but the rescue workers, from the SES, the fire brigades and others who had done a tremendous job”.

Mr Nehl said he and the then Minister for Transport, Bob Brown, had tried but been unable to get a plane to visit Kempsey that day, but he and his wife had attended the memorial service in Kempsey.

“I’ve got no doubt it was instrumental in putting pressure on the both State and Federal governments to proceed.

“It had an immense impact on parliament.”



Steady growth in a Coffs buyer's market

Boambee stood out as the region's most expensive suburb for houses with a $650,000 median sale price.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

Win an A-League experience

Win a coach's perspective of Coffs' first ever A-League match

Strong surf expected this weekend

Strong surf conditions expected to hit the NSW coast this weekend.

The NSW coast is expected to receive strong surf this weekend.

Local Partners

41-year-old playgroup under threat of closing down

IT'S been an important part of the Ballina community for decades, but this playgroup could be forced to shut its doors.


Fans invited to meet Jets at training session

FLYING IN: Catch the Newcastle Jets at the free training session at the international stadium on Thursday.

Catch up with the Newcastle Jets at the free training session

Legendary batsman opens up

STAR: Sir Viv Richards.

Cricket hero Sir Viv Richards will tell his tale at Coffs race club

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Steady growth in a Coffs buyer's market

Boambee stood out as the region's most expensive suburb for houses with a $650,000 median sale price.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Our coastline suburbs offer cheapest beach living in NSW

GOING CHEAP: You can snap up a property at Nambucca Heads for as little as $95,000.

Could you imagine buying a beach property for less than $100,000?

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!