Locals remember twins, grandma

Local councillor Jenny McKay (centre) joins locals on a walk through Woombye in memory of Grace and  Jessica Hornby and their grandmother Denise. Photo: Cade Mooney
Local councillor Jenny McKay (centre) joins locals on a walk through Woombye in memory of Grace and Jessica Hornby and their grandmother Denise. Photo: Cade Mooney

A SMALL but passionate group of Sunshine Coast residents stood by a roadside shrine this morning to remember two little girls and their grandmother.

They stood in silence for a minute after each reading the Road Smart Day pledge.

The group, led by local businessman Les Hadlow, Nambour-based MP Peter Wellington and local councillor Jenny McKay, gathered and walked in honour of Grace and Jessica Hornby and their grandmother Denise Mansell who were killed two years ago.

The five-year-old twins, who loved pink and purple, would have turned eight today.

Instead, their parents Michael and Kelly Hornby, are marking their birthday with a road safety campaign aimed at all Australians.

Locals are being urged to drive a little safer today, to be more alert, to avoid drink-driving, and being distracted by their mobile phones.

Woombye residents have campaigned for the intersection on Nambour Connection Road to be upgraded to include traffic lights.

After the crash in May 2009, which also claimed the life of a Nambour man driving the other vehicle, they marched each week, calling for action.

Today they were told that they would have to await the outcome of a coronial investigation before the state government decided whether to close the intersection or install traffic lights.

Mr Wellington said the fact that the government had already spent a lot of money putting in 70km/h speed signs and lights, and better street lighting, indicated to him the intersection was unlikely to be closed.

But he said it was 'proper process' for the government to await the outcome of the inquest before taking action.

Mr Hadlow said it was important that all drivers took extra care on the roads because often the 'nut behind the wheel' was far more important than many safety features in a car.

Daily editor in chief Mark Furler, who joined the walk, said that while there were some deadly roads and intersections on the Coast, many fatal crashes were attributed to driver error.

He said too often, it was something as innocent as taking a phone call or being distracted changing a CD or the radio station, that could see a split second mistake that cost someone's life.

"The Hornby family want us all to take extra care on the roads today,'' Mr Furler said.

"That, to them, will be Grace and Jessica's legacy if we are a little more road smart every day.''

Take the Road Smart Day pledge here

Topics:  hornby jenny mckay mark furler peter wellington

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