Widow-maker falls on highway travellers
By BELINDA SCOTT
THIS Boambee woman and her husband were terrified when a large dead branch fell on their 4WD as they were travelling on the Pacific Highway through Pine Creek on Sunday night.
The tree branch, about 150mm (6 inches) in diameter, hit the bull bar, bounced on the bonnet and shattered the windscreen, showering the front passenger with glass fragments and denting the roof.
The couple, who do not want to be identified, say they were very lucky there were no cars behind them and none passing them when it happened and they were able to put on the brakes and hazard lights of their Nissan Navara dual cab and pull over to recover.
Now the couple are wondering if similar falling branches could have been a factor in some of the accidents which have made Pine Creek a notorious stretch of highway and led to a number of deaths.
"If it had been on the driver's side it could have been a fatal," the Boambee man, who was driving at the time, said.
"Our daughter works in Bellingen and she says she sees branches come down all the time.
"Sid Burke Park was closed for a while because of branches falling on people going to the toilet.
"The RTA have only done half the job if they have put in the safety barriers but not pruned back the tree branches."