Wet weather crash leaves caravan home destroyed

IMAGINE having little more than an hour to pick up the contents of your life from the highway.

This is the situation Bellingen woman Suzanne Edge was faced with on Monday afternoon when her caravan home was torn apart in a crash at the Glenugie Creek bridge.

Passenger Dean Kyte, also of Bellingen, said they were lucky to walk away from the car without a scratch but were still in shock as they salvaged clothes, instruments and personal items from the debris while emergency crews worked to clear theroad.

"This is Suze's home, this is everything she owns," Mr Kyte said as he surveyed the damage.

"We are really close friends; she's looked after me and though I don't have a place to stay I'll do my best to look after her."

Others have rallied around to help the caravan owner, who yesterday told The Daily Examiner she was in high spirits, buoyed by the support of family, friends and strangers who had helped since the crash.

Miss Edge said she wanted to thank everyone who helped clear the scene, particularly two passers-by, Kristy and Jo, who stopped to offer water, muesli bars and hugs.

"How beautiful is that," she said.

"I feel like yesterday was a loss but we're just grateful no one got (seriously) hurt.

"It could have gone so terribly wrong - with the sway of the van there was no way it was going back."

They were travelling to "fight the good fight" at the Bentley Blockade near Lismore when the caravan they were towing started to fishtail on the wet road, sending the car into the guardrail.

A truck then clipped the caravan and spilled its contents across both lanes of the Pacific Hwy.

The truck driver was taken to hospital to receive treatment for minor injuries.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CARAVAN STARTS TO SWAY

By the Caravan and Camping Industry Association

  • If your caravan begins to sway or snake, remain calm and avoid the urge to apply the towing vehicle's brakes. Don't try to steer out of the swaying/snaking but hold the vehicle steady and try to stay in the lane.
  • Gently apply the caravan's electric brakes using the manual control in the tow vehicle. Otherwise, where conditions permit, continue at a steady speed or accelerate slightly until the sway stops.
  • When a condition of sway has been corrected, slow down and pull off the road safely.
  • Check that your load is correctly distributed within the trailer, making sure heavier items are placed over the axles of the caravan. A caravan that doesn't have the load distributed correctly may not handle well and may be the cause of swaying/snaking.


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