Girl awoken by highway nightmare
By JULIA ILES
AS 14-year-old Shanae Edwards slept soundly on Saturday night, an out of control semi-trailer came within metres of ploughing into her bedroom.
The truck broke through the front yard rail and wire fencing of her house on the Pacific Highway at 1.50am, taking out about nine solid wooden fence posts over a distance of about 30 to 40 metres, before it swayed over to the other side of the highway and crashed into a gully four kilometres north of Ulmarra.
Shanae was shocked by the incident and is worried that if action isn't taken it may happen again.
"They need to move the house back or something," she said.
Her mother, Jennifer Edwards, said she was concerned about the effect the accident would have on her daughter.
"It is only a matter of time before someone is killed or injured here, there is more traffic, trucks do higher speeds and some homes here are just too close to the highway," Ms Edwards said.
"This highway is such a nightmare and we don't want to be victims of an out of control semi-trailer, my daughter won't sleep in her room anymore and many of our neighbours along the highway are worried."
She said similar incidents had occurred to some of her neighbours on both sides of the road in 1992 and 2002.
Ms Edwards said she has tried many times to have the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) look into moving her house back.
Her timber house is only eight metres from the road, meeting the minimum distance set by the RTA.
Four years ago, as part of highway upgrades, the RTA moved the road closer to her home, also adding a kerb, which according to Ms Edwards, was instrumental in preventing the truck from hitting the home.
Ulmarra resident Shirley Regan, whose grandchildren live on a property with a highway frontage, said many in the area were concerned.
"The roads here are just not suitable for big trucks, with all the modern equipment the RTA have at their disposal why wouldn't they be able to do something to improve the conditions," she said.