Topics:  pacific hwy, paul zanuso, road toll

NSW has ‘reneged'

Paul Zanuso, father of Nathan Zanuso who was killed on the Pacific Highway in 2010, plants a cross at the scene.
Paul Zanuso, father of Nathan Zanuso who was killed on the Pacific Highway in 2010, plants a cross at the scene. Adam Hourigan

PAUL Zanuso, the father of a young man killed on the Pacific Hwy, is outraged the NSW Government has walked away from its pre-election promise to complete the dangerous roadway by 2016.

Mr Zanuso's only son Nathan, 26, was fatally injured on a single carriageway section of the Pacific Hwy at Ulmarra in February 2010, and yesterday said that time had done little to ease the pain.

"It doesn't end; it's been two-and-a-half years and it seems like yesterday," he said.

Nathan was a well-respected and highly fit rope technician.

The driver of a B-double fell asleep at the wheel and his truck crossed to the wrong side of the highway and crashed head on with Nathan's ute in the dark of night, February 11, 2010, leaving the young man with mortal injuries.

The Zanusos made the heart-wrenching decision to turn off Nathan's life-support a week later.

The B-double driver Robert Pearce, 52, of Melbourne was found guilty of negligent driving occasioning death in Sydney last December and, much to the disgust of the Zanuso family, walked away from the conviction with a $1650 fine, a two-year driving suspension and a suspended jail sentence.

Mr Zanuso knows only too well that his son might be living today if the highway was dual carriageway and oncoming traffic was separated by a buffer zone.

"I am livid this has fallen by the wayside again," he said. "I thought this O'Farrell mob were going to do it; they had a real chance to do something great for Northern NSW. .

"How much blood do these bastards need on their hands before they'll do something."

The Zanuso family lives in Wodonga, on the Victorian side of the NSW border where the Hume Hwy's dual carriageway saves lives on a daily basis.

"I really had no idea how dangerous the Pacific Hwy was until Nathan's death ... I don't think people down here do," he said.

Asked who should be held responsible for the upgrade, Mr Zanuso said both parties at both levels of government were guilty of failing Northern NSW.



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