Call to act now on killer road
HE DIDN'T know it then, but the notorious stretch of road at Tyndale where his 19-year-old sister was killed in 2004 has made headlines more than once.
For 10 years, Dwayne Pateman has been haunted by the very stretch of Pacific Highway where Tyndale residents and business operators are fighting to have the speed limit reduced; and he's backing them 100%.
On June 28, 2004, Mr Pateman's sister Amanda and her boyfriend were killed when turning out of the carpark near the Plantation Motel.
"She was pulling out on to the highway from the motel and was looking straight into the sun. She was cleaned up by a B-double truck," Mr Pateman said. "Both were killed instantly."
Mr Pateman said he and his family had not realised the dangers of that section of the road.
"At the time, we didn't know how bad it was," he said. "It wasn't until a few years later that I moved to the area and realised."
Every day, Mr Pateman drove past the very site his sister was killed.
"I drove between Grafton and Yamba most days, so I know exactly what it's like," he said. "I always slow down to at least 90km/h and am always looking at that intersection.
"I know it can happen at any time and I would not like to become another statistic. I would like to see the speed limit lowered - even to 60km/h - and I don't see why it can't be, especially where there are near-misses every day."
His mother still refuses to drive through Tyndale and always goes via Lawrence.
Also showing his support for the speed change is Yamba man Bob Van Shie.
"It doesn't have to be Easter for this road to be bad," Mr Van Shie said.
"I have had so many near misses because of those blind spots. Sometimes we go into the windmill place next door to the roadhouse and that's only got a little tiny turning off margin to slow down and turn off, so if you have got a truck up your bum or a tailgater, you've got no chance."
Mr Van Shie said his blood boiled when he read The DEX's story in Wednesday's paper when an RMS spokesman was quoted as saying, "the existing speed limit of 100km/h was found to be appropriate".
"I think the most appropriate action would be sacking these bloody bureaucrats, because this is a real issue and I'm sick of them saying it's not," he said.