Margaret Long was lucky to survive a rear-end smash on the Bruce Highway near her Chatsworth home on Saturday.
Margaret Long was lucky to survive a rear-end smash on the Bruce Highway near her Chatsworth home on Saturday. Renee Pilcher

Call for highway fix at Chatsworth

MARGARET Long is concerned about the dangers of intersections off the Bruce Highway near her home at Chatsworth.

The life in the balance only a stone’s throw from her place on Saturday was her own.

Less than a month ago, Mrs Long was among residents calling for right-hand turning lanes and passing lanes, to protect residents and travellers from the dangers of rear-end collision.

“I’ve seen some of the history of this intersection,” she said then.

“But I’ve heard every crash that’s happened here,” Mrs Long told The Gympie Times on July 20.

"I’ve heard the whole lot,” she said, referring to the number of days she has been alarmed and the nights she has woken in fright to the sound of screeching tyres and crunching steel.

At 3pm on Saturday, Mrs Long was facing south and attempting to turn right into Roberts Road, the scene of last month’s protest.

Suddenly a car smashed into her from behind, causing painful injuries and damaging and twisting her beloved Hyundai Elantra.

“The force of the impact drove me forward about 50m,” she said yesterday.

“If I hadn’t had the front wheels facing straight ahead I would have been driven helplessly into the oncoming traffic from Gympie and I wouldn’t be here.

“The force needed to push me 50m down the road absorbed a lot of the impact, but if I’d had my foot hard on the brake I would have been much more badly hurt, or killed.”

It is not that long ago that her son-in-law was almost killed, facing north and turning into her driveway.

The whole set of experiences has made her quite nervous about driving.

“I love this little car, but I don’t feel good about driving it now,” she said.

“I’m just too nervous to drive.”

“When my car finally stopped moving, thankfully off to the left hand side of the highway, the trucks and cars just roared past.

“No-one slowed down.”

The impact left her with pain in her lower back and her right arm, with a bad bruise on her knee, which was already a result of surgery.

“I’ve got titanium knees and where they’re spiked into the bone I now have a lot of pain.

“The right one’s cracked a bit. It may need an oil change, I think,” she joked.

Last month she joined eight other nearby residents, led by safety campaigner Nancy Evans. “Nancy says maybe we’ll finally get some action now,” Mrs Long said.

Mrs Evans said she had substantial concerns about most of the highway intersections from Gympie golf course to Chatsworth.

Gympie Times


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