News

Doctor can never forget Cowper horror

ONE PATIENT AT A TIME: Dr Ray Jones drove to the scene of the Cowper bus crash on October 20, 1989, to do what he could to help.
ONE PATIENT AT A TIME: Dr Ray Jones drove to the scene of the Cowper bus crash on October 20, 1989, to do what he could to help. Adam Hourigan

TWENTY-five years on from the tragic 1989 collision at Cowper, the Clarence Valley community still remembers.

Dr Ray Jones was at the scene, and will be at the community memorial service at Cowper this morning to pay homage to one of Australia's most devastating highway collisions.

"It was one of the most significant events that happened in my lifetime, in my professional and personal life," he said.

"It's the sort of thing you never forget.

"That's why people are still coming back 25 years later."

Dr Jones was out jogging just on dawn when his earphones crackled with reports of the crash on the radio.

"I knew they'd need doctors, so I hopped in the car and drove out to the Pacific Highway," he said.

"It was a dreadful scene, I remember it vividly.

"The living were in the middle of the road, under the light, covered in blankets.

"We just worked through one patient at a time."

That crash, and the possibility it may not have occurred had the highway been wider at that location, sparked a seed in the doctor which grew to become an outspoken passion for better roads.

Dr Jones, as the spokesman for Doctors for a Safe Pacific Highway, has actively and outspokenly campaigned for the Pacific Highway to be upgraded for years, especially in sections with single carriageways.

He praised the most recent funding for the Woolgoolga to Ballina Highway upgrade, and for the rest of the Pacific Highway.

"They've finally got the idea that maybe they should fix things," he said.

"It'll be wonderful once it's done - so many people have been killed on that stretch of road."

Two months after Cowper, 35 people were killed and 41 injured when two buses collided at Clybucca Flat, north of Kempsey.

The memorial service to mark the 25th anniversary of the Cowper crash will be held today from 11am at the memorial erected at Cowper, on the old highway north along the Cowper turnoff.

All are welcome to attend.

WHAT'S HOT ONLINE TODAY

Topics:  anniversary cowper bus crash editors picks pacific highway



Highway upgrade at Halfway Creek making progress

Works are progressing quickly on the Halfway Creek to Glenugie section of the Pacific Hwy upgrade. The project is due to be completed by the end of 2017.

Progress is being made on highway upgrade at Halfway Creek

NDIS prompts more training

Uni creates Disability Management courses

Christmas has arrived in Grafton

CHRISTMAS CHEER: Santa arrives at Grafton Shoppingworld on Saturday, ready to have his photo taken with all the kids in the Clarence Valley.

Santa has arrived at Grafton Shoppingworld

Local Partners

Sea planes land on the Big River

The Sea Planes Pilots Association were in Grafton to enjoy a weekend on the Clarence River


Bringing their Magic Mojo to Grafton

MAGIC: Head down to Roches Family Hotel for a brilliant mix of '70s, '80s and '90s music by Magic Mojo, a Coffs Coast band using their experience to give a brilliant performance.

Powerful trio to lift the top off Roches Hotel tonight

Catch Saturday night fever at the South Club

GEEZ WIZZ: Get your dancing shoes on for the UK Bee Geez Show.

The UK Bee Geez Show delivers a realistic tribute to pop legends

Audience in for a rare treat from husband and wife duo

Husband and wife Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymont are playing at home this weekend for an intimate gig at the Pelican Playhouse.

"We love playing these up close and personal acoustic shows”

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

INSIDE: Artist's impressions of the interior of the new Eastern Heights aged care precinct.

Sub-contractors needed to build $15m aged care facility

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!