Out of tragedy
By JENI FAULKNER
WHEN Jim Minto faced up to his fears, and stood on the corner of the Pacific Highway where he almost lost his life, he had no idea of the impact he could make.
Six weeks ago the Coffs Coast Advocate invited victims of Pine Creek to tell of their highway experiences.
Their horror stories were published and, finally, the State Government gave them some hope for the future by giving the green light for the construction of the Bonville bypass.
But Mr Minto is sceptical about the announcement and said he wasn't holding his breath.
His head-on collision two years ago was one of five fatal road accidents around the notorious Pine Creek section of the Pacific Highway where, in just two years, eight people died and countless more had their lives shattered.
"I'm glad an announcement has been made, but what we really need is action," Mr Minto said.
"Let's all hope this announcement is a positive step by the Government, a step in the right direction."
David Vaughan lives on the Pacific Highway at Bonville and he said the announcement was great news for locals.
"This is fantastic, but I hope it will happen soon, we don't want to see any more lives lost in the meantime," Mr Vaughan said.
"As a local every time you see an ambulance your heart is in your mouth and you think, 'not another one'.
"We are all sick of excuses and we are sick of seeing those in power playing politics. We want to see something done."
Mr Vaughan, like many others, believes lives could be saved by a Bonville deviation and he hopes these measures won't take too long.
"As a local you hear of so many close calls and the quicker this deviation takes place the faster we eliminate the risk," he said.