Does a child have to die?

THE blood on his daughter's schoolbag is too much for Matt Hall.

“I just went cold when I saw the blood, when I saw her lying on the road, crying,” Mr Hall said.

His daughter, 13-year-old Topaz, was late for school around 8am yesterday when she stepped out onto Sawtell Road and was hit by a car.

The impact drove her head into the eastbound car's windscreen and left her lying on the road with blood splattered across her face, the road and her schoolbag.

Blood that her father never wants to see again.

“This road needs a crossing, or signage, or something to slow people down and make them aware of how many kids cross here,” Mr Hall said.

Thankfully Topaz was not seriously hurt in the accident, and she spent last night in hospital in a stable condition with cuts and bruises.

But other residents say it's only a matter of time before a child is killed on the dangerous stretch.

Mandy Jones, a neighbour of the Halls, is the mother of six boys aged between three and 17 years old, and she described the road as 'a nightmare'.

The road sees high traffic in peak times due to the bus shelters being used by school kids and the popularity of nearby Boambee Reserve, and often the road is lined with parked cars, which heightens the risk.

Mandy said even the recent addition of a refuge point on the road hasn't worked.

“Cars speed past here, and you've got small kids crossing to catch buses and older kids are always walking across to go to the reserve on holidays,” she said.

“It's a horrible corner, the worst in Coffs Harbour, and we need a pedestrian crossing.

“Does a child have to die before we get a crossing?”

Kirsty Walker runs family day care from her home on the street, and she said she's had a near miss herself.

“I was walking kids across to get to the reserve when a car came screaming around the corner, fish tailing,” Ms Walker said.

“I wouldn't cross here if I didn't have to but the nearest safe crossing is near the shopping centre or First Avenue in Sawtell - there isn't anywhere to cross safely at all.”

For Mr Hall, the only answer is a crossing.

“I saw my daughter lying there crying, with blood on her,” he said.

“No parent should have to see that.”

• Police said the accident happened on Sawtell Road at Toormina, near the Barber Close intersection, about 8am. The girl ran onto the road into the path of an eastbound car, which struck her, police said. The girl hit the windscreen and landed on the road. She was treated at hospital for cuts and bruises. Police said it appeared speed was not a factor.



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