Lucky to be alive after crash
AS SIRENS blared in the background of the mobile phone call from an unknown number, an Emerald wife's heart dropped as her husband said: "I have been hit at the intersection."
A three-car pile-up on Thursday last week at 4.50pm at the corner of Pritchard Rd and the Gregory Hwy could have been so much worse but for the experience of two of the drivers.
An 18-year-old P-plater was at the wheel of a twin cab four-wheel-drive towing a loaded trailer that caused the accident.
"That intersection has become nothing more than a death trap," said the wife, who wanted to remain anonymous.
"With the increase in traffic on the Gregory Hwy, an illegal bus stop for mine parking and the continued development of the Pritchard Rd mining camp, the Department of Main Roads is playing Russian roulette with local residents.
"Our worst fears became reality on that Thursday … I didn't recognise the call because my husband was ringing from a bystander's phone because his had been destroyed in the incident.
"I cannot imagine what would have happened if there had not been a break in the flow of traffic in to town because they could have driven into oncoming traffic."
A small vehicle had been in front of the husband's twin cab Holden Rodeo.
Both were turning right in to Pritchard Rd when the Rodeo was hit from behind.
"I could see the vehicle was not going to go around the bypass lane and I only had split seconds to make a judgment," the husband said.
"The end of the long line of traffic travelling in to town had just passed at the same split second as I decided to drop the clutch to get out of the way and soften the impact.
"The impact was still that great that it picked the back of the Rodeo up and forced it sideways down the road, hitting the back of the small car in front."
The couple is advocating for a separate turning lane for Pritchard Rd, similar to the new Wills Rd intersection.
With an ultrasound showing badly torn tendons and an MRI yet to confirm suspected ligament damage, the man has started having migraines and hip and neck problems as a result of the crash.
"Everyone concerned is lucky to be alive and we need to prevent this from happening again in the future and possible fatalities," the wife said.