Enough is enough
By JENI FAULKNER
IMAGINE being that scared of your local road you can't drive to work, or being so distressed from the carnage on the Pacific Highway that you're physically sick.
Mary Stokes, from Bonville, said the collision which claimed four lives on Monday was the worst thing she had ever seen.
Mary and her husband live opposite Monday's crash site and, even though they're familiar with accidents on the highway, never before have they felt so helpless.
Upon hearing the horrific sound of metal on metal the Stokes rushed to the scene, but within seconds realised there was nothing they could do.
"It was so quiet, all the traffic had just stopped, we didn't even realise there were students on the bus," Ms Stokes said.
Then they saw the true horror of the accident. Mary noticed the car wedged under the bus and she stepped back from the area while her husband remained to divert traffic.
"When I realised what had happened I felt sick, I am so sad that people keep dying," Mary said.
"My husband waited for the police and the SES but there was nothing he could do. He was up all night in shock after the ordeal," she said.
"We really want them (the RTA) to do a bypass and I guess the only answer is to push for it."
The Stokes have lived in Bonville all their lives and nine years ago the RTA approached them to buy their family home in Herdegen Close.
Four years ago, after a triple fatal near their property, the Stokes sold their house in the hope that work would begin for the Bonville Deviation.
"We built that home and we gave it up to save people, but I don't see anyone being saved, only more people dying."
Kerri Crossland works at Wild About Fruit at Bonville.
She has lived in the area for 30 years, and has seen her fair share of accidents.
"The residents here are scared of the road," Ms Crossland said.
"We want some peace of mind and we want to stop seeing other people's lives damaged."
On Monday, highway traffic was banked up for seven kilometres either side of the accident, and Ms Crossland said the phone at the store was ringing off the hook.
Many residents were worried their families might be involved, others were concerned that, once again, someone had lost their life to the highway.
"Mothers were also coming into the store to phone schools to say they couldn't pick up their children, and many of them still had bubs in the car," she said.
One mother had to arrange for her daughter to stay with a friend in town, while a couple decided there and then to cancel their trip to Sydney this week because they feared travelling the Pacific Highway.
Since 2001 the Pacific Highway between Macksville and Halfway Creek has claimed the lives of 49 people.
Of those deaths 23 were on the highway between Pine Creek and Korora ? seven lives were lost at Pine Creek, five at Bonville, and 11 others between Korora and Woolgoolga.