A sad plea
By JENI FAULKNER
PETER Lagettie is hoping to reach the person responsible for erecting white crosses along the Pacific Highway at Bonville this week (pictured) because he would like to have the crosses moved.
His request is not out of disrespect for the four lives lost on Monday.
He is simply asking for compassion towards people who have also lost family to this horror stretch of highway.
Mr Lagettie's youngest brother, John, 14, and his eldest sister, Cynthia, 21, were killed when a pantechnicon trailer broke away from a truck and rammed them as they waited to turn off the highway.
At the time Mr Lagettie received head injuries and liver damage, but 18 years on the emotional pain still haunts him.
"I survived the accident, but my siblings were killed on this very corner in 1987," Mr Lagettie wrote in a letter to the Coffs Coast Advocate this week.
"It was in different circumstances but the same rotten highway, and every day I have to travel on it."
It is difficult for Mr Lagettie to turn from the highway into his home street without nervously looking in his rear-vision mirror, and the erection of crosses this week deepened his pain.
"I cry often, and on many evenings I arrive home shaken and distressed. I have suffered nightmares and I also had to attend counselling," Mr Lagettie said.
Mr Lagettie, his wife, and three children, live next door to Mr Lagettie's parents and he doesn't want to move from the area.
"We have thought about leaving but this is our roots," Mr Lagettie said.
"I like where we live and I wouldn't want the memories of my siblings to fade.
"This is a poxie and shocking excuse for a national highway. It is a goat track that people use. My baggage comes from a crappy road and we have decision-making people that don't care for those who die on it."
Mr Lagettie said he couldn't bear to place crosses for his siblings at the side of the road, yet he understands the need of others to do so.
"I also understand the desire to remind the powers that be of our kids and families dying on this stinking highway, but can you move these crosses further north past the turn off?"
Mr Lagettie said the families of the latest tragedy live nowhere near Bonville and they will not see these crosses every day.
"Please don't make me replace them," Mr Lagettie said.
"I decided I didn't want to place crosses and I will not remove yours without giving you the opportunity to help me ? not away, just along."