Monday, January 9, 2012

In the early hours of an Australian morning

Urunga is a small seaside town to the south of Coffs Harbour (Australia), not far from my native Clarence River region, and the Pacific Highway runs through the municipality. Over a year ago, I wrote about that notorious road [display], which is regularly the scene of terrible accidents, often due to the presence of giant lorries on a narrow undulating road that was laid out back in the days when the traffic was sparse and lightweight. As I've often said, it was a great road for bike-riding.

Here's a typical curve in that highway, in the middle of Urunga, looking towards the south:

This is in fact a rear view from the Google vehicle, which was actually moving northwards. But let us carry on as if we were driving to the south. As we move into the bend, we notice a white house on the right-hand side of the road.

As we drive past this house, we catch a glimpse of an automobile parked alongside the front verandah. There's a palm tree in the front garden, but it hasn't yet reached the height of the electricity pole near the edge of the road.

A few meters further along, we have a view of the front lawn and façade of the house, behind a small leafy tropical tree with a delta-shaped bunch of slim trunks.

A few days ago, in the early hours of the morning, a giant B-double truck (full of bananas) had been driving southwards and plunging into this bend. Suddenly, the truck driver found himself face-to-face with a north-bound utility vehicle, which had drifted onto the wrong side of the road. A collision was inevitable. The utility was demolished, and its driver killed. Before the truck came to a halt, it had careened off the road and destroyed half of the white house.

A 14-year-old boy, on holidays, had been sleeping in the front corner bedroom of the house. He died instantly, the innocent victim of a real-world nightmare. And the next day, a local politician was quoted as declaring that, really, it was high time to do something about that notorious Pacific Highway...

1 comment:

  1. That was our famly home,my dad and mum moved there in 1937 and stayed there till dad built the house next door and the granny flat behind.when we were kids we would play cricket on that road as there was not much traffic.My nephew own it now,but the govement have not kept up with the mount of traffic that travel that road