COFFS P-PLATER HIGHWAY DEATH
By LEE McDOUGALL
TWO years ago her beautiful, fresh young face smiled at us from Bishop Druitt College's Class of 2004 Honour Roll published within the pages of this newspaper.
Today, family, friends and former class mates of 19-year-old Dixie Gibson are coming to terms with the horrendous grief, loss and anger they now feel following her death on Friday night on the Pacific Highway at Kew.
At 7pm on Friday, the northbound Ford sedan driven by Miss Gibson collided with a southbound B-double at Rossglen, six kilometres south of Kew, on the Pacific Highway.
Ms Gibson died at the scene. The 35-year-old male driver of the truck was physically uninjured.
The highway was blocked for more than five hours.
Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, personally knew Miss Gibson. She was a close friend and classmate of his son, Angus. She had visited the Fraser home many times.
"I'm sick of the excuses. I'm sick of the bullshit," an angry and grieving Mr Fraser said from his home yesterday.
"It just hits you in the guts. I feel sure that Dixie would not have been killed if there had been divider rails in place (similar to that recently installed at Pine Creek).
'There was $5 million spent at Bonville. I don't care if it costs $100 million but we have to stop young lives being lost."
Ironically, on Thursday in State Parliament, Mr Fraser raised the issue of reinstating the Black Spot program to fund the installation of divider rails in known black spots along the Pacific Highway.
With the government estimating that it will be another 15 years before the Pacific Highway is dual carriageway from Sydney to the Queensland border, Mr Fraser's call for Black Spot funding was also echoed by the Greens' call to ban B-doubles on the Pacific Highway. "It's not hard to drive from here to Sydney and identify the black spots," he said.