Highway death is 'on their heads'
DEATH has been at John Crean's Ulmarra doorstep too many times in recent years.
And about 3.30am yesterday he was the second person to arrive on the scene to witness a crash victim take his last breath.
Mr Crean has lived in his home just north of Old Post Office Ln on the Pacific Hwy for about 11 years and said at least five people had died on the 200m stretch of highway directly in front of his home.
"We had Andrew Stoner and four other National Party politi- cians standing here on the footpath in front of my house before the last election," Mr Crean said.
"They said they were going to fix the highway and that is why I voted for them.
"As far as I'm concerned the life of that young bloke who died here this morning is on their heads."
Rural fire service captain for the lower Clarence Geoff "Boots" Towner said he could not count the number of crashes he had attended on the highway between Ulmarra and Harwood over the past 30 years.
He said when RFS crews arrived the truck involved in the crash was lying on its side next to the highway engulfed in flames.
Mr Towner said it took about 40,000 litres of water to put the fire out, with tankers bringing in water from Brushgrove.
A friend and colleague of the truck driver in the crash, Craig Ashford was at the scene.
"You can replace a truck but you can't replace a life," Mr Ashford said.
He said he had lost many friends in truck crashes on the Pacific Hwy over the years.
"I don't know how many accidents I've seen on this particular corner; it's an absolute joke.
"It's pathetic, but at the end of the day we just have to do what we have to do." The driver of the purple Mazda 929 involved in the crash had not been identified. The truck driver is in Grafton Base Hospital with minor injuries.