‘We deserve better’: Doctor's plea to fix horror road
A RETIRED health worker who spent too much of his 34-year career taking X-rays of badly injured crash victims of a dangerous stretch of the Bruxner Highway says "we deserve better".
Retired Lismore Base Hospital chief radiographer Denys Wynn said, after so many deaths and trauma, he was baffled Transport for NSW had not yet properly addressed the section of road between Lismore and Alstonville - including the notorious Alphadale crossroads.
From 1980 to 2014, attending the emergency department, Mr Wynn would be one of the first health workers a crash victim would see.
He would diagnose and treat patients using medical imaging such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasound.
"I attended to at least 40 crash victims because of that road," the Richmond Hill resident said.
"Sometimes you would get three or four breaks or fractures from one patient - they were simple from broken legs and arms, to really severe chest injuries, abdominal and head injuries.
"It was challenging dealing with so much trauma, you have to have way to deal with it when you come home."
He said, after a debrief at work one day, it was determined that about 150 people would be affected from one person killed or seriously injured in a crash.
After hearing of the most recent death of a motorcyclist just before the Alphadale intersection, Mr Wynn approached long-time advocator for safety upgrades to the road, Lismore MP Janelle Saffin, to show his support for her lobbying efforts.
"The three kilometres of road in question is the worst section of road you will encounter from Brisbane to Sydney," he said.
"Too many people have died.
"I favour the Janelle's more strategic approach of a major highway realignment which would bypass this black spot altogether.
"An overpass is the only solution. The State Government owns that land corridor mentioned in Janelle's plan, why they haven't done anything is beyond me."
He said drivers travelling along Alphadale Road towards the crossroads, would at times, not see the intersection because of the tunnel of trees and they would plough straight through it.
"It almost happened to me a few times," he said.
"But this push from Janelle is about trying to get the government to do something about that entire section.
"This is about saving peoples lives … to save people from injury and trauma.
"These four communities of Wollongbar, Alstonville, Lismore, Ballina are so interwoven with people moving between them normally, we deserve better and they need to do it safely.
"It's not as simple as lowing the speed limit because that doesn't fix it."
The safety upgrades to the stretch of the Bruxner Hwy, still hangs in the balance.