BUCCA ROAD FATALITY
By CRAIG McTEAR
THE life of an elderly Coffs Harbour man was brought to an abrupt end on the notorious Bucca Road yesterday.
The man, 72, was heading east in his Mitsubishi Magna sedan about 8.30am, on a straight stretch of road, 4km west of the Pacific Highway at Moonee, when the accident happened.
The man, who was on his own, lost control of his car in wet conditions, hitting a large tree on the other side of the road, and coming to rest on its roof.
He died shortly after.
Police, the State Emergency Service, ambulance officers and two rural fire brigade crews rushed to the scene.
Police were not releasing the dead man's name yesterday because not all relatives had been informed.
The cause of the accident is not yet known, but inquiries continue. Police will prepare a report for the coroner.
There appear to be no witnesses to the smash at this stage, but investigators urged anyone who may have information to come forward.
Rural Fire Service manager for the Mid North Coast, Warwick Roche, said the Moonee and Bucca brigades were called to help with fire protection.
"We stood by with charged hoses in case of a fire and helped police with traffic control," Mr Roche said.
Bucca Road, which runs from the Pacific Highway at Moonee to Nana Glen, has claimed several lives in recent years.
The member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, said the section of road which claimed the man's life yesterday was not a recognised blackspot.
"It appears on the information I have on this accident that there may have been another factor involved other than the road," Mr Fraser said.
"It always amazes me why Bucca Road attracts so many fatalities.
"Quite often, speed and driving inappropriately in adverse conditions seem to be a factor in these accidents.
"The Federal Government gave money last year to fix a blackspot further west of where this accident was.
"Coffs Harbour City Council and the Federal Government have contributed funds for blackspots on the road, which appears to have fixed them."
A city council spokeswoman said it was not appropriate at this stage for the mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, to comment.
n Emergency crews were also called yesterday to a smash in heavy rain on the Pacific Highway at Mullaway about 9am.
Police said a northbound sedan, driven by a man, 78, had stopped to turn right into the Mullaway Service Station when another car, driven by a woman, 56, hit it from behind.
There were no injuries, but both vehicles were towed from the scene.
n A car ran off Waterfall Way at Marx Hill and rolled after a collision with another car in wet conditions late on Thursday. No-one was injured.