Grieving mother calls on Premier
AS New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally made a very public visit to Lennox Head and declared the region a Natural Disaster Zone, Christine and Mick Covell were left wondering why the Premier has not yet accepted the many invitations she has received to come and inspect the stretch of the highway between Coffs Harbour and Tweed Heads.
The couple are passionate about getting the Premier to view the notorious stretch of road, as they hope no one else has to go through what their family did seven years ago.
On July 4, 2003, their son Joshua was killed as a result of a car crash on the Pacific Highway at Woodburn in which a P-plate driver was found negligent.
Mrs Covell firmly believes that if the highway was dual carriageway the accident would not have occurred.
Joshua’s fiancé, who was travelling in the car with him at the time of the accident, was left with brain injuries that kept her in a Brisbane hospital for 18 months.
“While she survived the accident, she has not made a full recovery and is now blind in one eye and has nerve damage,” Mrs Covell said.
“My husband and I have two more sons, and we hate them driving on that road.
“I know people say that you shouldn’t think like that, but since tragedy struck our family I can’t help it.
“I am left asking myself if something has to happen to a member of a politician’s family before something is done about the highway.”
While Mrs Covell acknowledges that the Premier’s visit to Lennox was warranted, she believes the Pacific Highway should receive the same treatment.
“You can always build another home and replace material possessions. That is what insurance is for,” she said.
“There was no life lost at Lennox Head, but people are dying too often as a result of the Pacific Highway.
“It really isn’t good enough.
“If and when Kristina Keneally does make her way up to take a look at what countless people are driving on every day I want to get everyone in our area who has lost a loved one on the highway together and tell her of the devastating effect it has had on people’s lives.
“I believe that that is the only way she will understand.”