I’m not a journalist, I’m not here to report facts. I’m a blogger and an emotional one at that. This is what we heard and saw.
This morning at 6am a man died not 100m from our house. John and I were sitting on the couch, I was feeding Sophie. We heard an almighty bang. I thought a truck had overturned. John went outside to inspect and thought 2 cars had collided at the Cowper St Roundabout, on Hannell St, Wickham. On closer inspection it appears a single car sped straight through the roundabout, didn’t even break or turn, hit a tree in the middle of the roundabout and ended up facing the wrong way. The front of the car gone. Debris scattered metres from the car. The car’s battery ended up on the other side of the road, across 4 lanes of traffic. The driver, dead. My husband saw the body. Slumped in the car. Something he will never forget.
If it had have been a ‘normal’ morning, John and our dog Jack would have already left the house and would have been standing waiting to cross the road in the exact spot the car and debris ended. The thought of it makes me feel ill. I’m on the verge of tears just thinking about it. Thank God Sophie had a poo explosion and instead of setting off for their morning walk John was helping me get her changed.
Speeding along Hannell St is not uncommon. In fact most nights we hear people ‘flying’ along the road, doing burnouts around the roundabout or drag racing. At 2am in the morning, when you are trying to sleep, to say it’s frustrating is an understatement, not to mention dangerous for other road users. This morning the full dangers of speeding were in full view. Strangely and eeriely there were no skid marks. Once again I stress I’m not here to report the facts, I’m speculting. I don’t know if the driver was high on drugs, asleep, or on a suicide mission. Who knows. But with out a doubt he was speeding.
The fact that no one else was injured or killed truly is a miracle. An off duty firefighter swerved to miss being hit by the car. Had it have been a week day there may have been more cars on the road, more people crossing to go for a morning stroll along the water front. More chance of someone else being involved.
What will it take for people to realise the message is clear. And very very simple. SPEED KILLS. Drag racing at 2am in a 60km zone is not cool. Taking on a roundabout at 100km is not cool. Having the police visit parents to tell them their son has been killed in an accident. Absolutely devastating.
Something needs to be done on Hannell St. Traffic calming devices. Speed cameras. More police blitzes late at night, and in the early hours of the morning.
I’m quite surprised that a fatality in that very spot had not happened sooner. And why does something so horrific and sad have to happen before something is done.
I love where we live. It’s close to John’s work, close to friends, close to the water. And I want to stay here and raise my family without being petrified of crossing the road for fear of being hit by a hoon flying through a roundabout. I want to get a full night sleep without being woken by a car skidding because they were doing 100km in a 60km zone.
I feel compelled to do something. John spoke to one of the Cops there and he suggested writing to the Cop in charge of Highway Patrol, and the Local/State Government.
It’s not hard to obey road rules. Everyone has sped at some time or another. But after today, I can say even if someone sits on my arse I won’t be speeding for anything. It’s just not worth it. Because as we saw this morning Speed Kills. And it doesn’t just kill the person speeding. You can be an innocent driver/pedestrian obeying all the rules under the sun and be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
So before you put your foot down, just remember you’re not just endangering your own life, but all those around you too.