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NSW - more diversion on the old pacific hwy deaths

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by bonox, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/hole-in-road-tragedy-drug-factor/2008/06/02/1212258698618.html

    Apparently, when a family drove into the ditch left by a major road collapsing in front of them, drugs were a factor. Big deal! Anyone else see a problem here? A single vehicle went into a ditch that just appeared. You will never ever tell whether the hole appeared as they were on top of it, or when it was a hundred miles away from the car when it appeared. Whatever happened, the car wasn't in the ditch when they found it - it was washed downstream, so there was definately a lot of action happening at the time.

    So what is the point of headlining an article with "OMG drugs could have been a factor", and then spend 95% of the rest of the article talking about the road itself? That's like saying a guy dead in a field was dead because he was drunk, not because his parachute didn't have any lines connected, and then going on to talk about how the aircraft operator never changed the air in his tyres!

    Why the flock are taxpayers even paying for this enquiry? So we can label a scapegoat? Is something even going to happen when (if?) they come up with some lame bullshit response to "the road fell apart because the council didn't maintain it"?? We know they fcuked up - just give em a kick in the arse and fix the damned problem. If a short (criminal) investigation proves that someone refused to act on advice that the road was already dangerous, then institute legal proceedings in the usual manner.

    All this does is let beauracracts pat themselves on the back and say "see, he was drunk - there was nothing we could have done" to slide past the issue of poor maintenance, planning and forethought. Just like gov'ts start a war before an election to mask the issue of a poor economy imo!

    I think I need to slow down on the coffee.
  2. Well, there were no figures given for the driver.
    For all we know, he might have been a casual smoker and had a beer before leaving home (Trace amounts can be detected in the blood for up to 6 days after the event - http://www.cnoa.org/N-10.pdf)

    From a previous report -

  3. Um Bonox, before you burst a blood vessel, the SMH report is about the inquest into the deaths of the people involved. That's NSW Coroner's Court - nothing to do with any government inquiry which may or may not flow from the tragic events of last year.

    Blood would have been taken from the driver for analysis as part of the routine screen done at post-mortem, they are just reporting the findings. The report implies the road had already collapsed before the family arrived there, so driver reaction times could be a factor in the accident. So too could visibility and a whole host of other things. The coroner's job is to consider ALL the evidence and then make his findings.
  4. Yes but now it raises a doubt. Did the road just collapse under the car or was there a hole that the driver didn't see ? You can see how a smartalec RTA* lawyer would twist it, can't you? ... 'the driver didn't see it because he was stoned out of his mind...'

    - which I'm not suggesting was the case at all .... a terrible accident that I understand would have been prevented had the RTA* acted on all the reports it had.

    * or whoever is responsible for road maintenance
  5. If I remember this one right wasn't the entire road under floodwater at the time?
    In which case it's not an issue of them being too stoned to see it, but simply not realising/ignoring the risks of driving through water. Something which seems to catch out plenty of completely sober drivers every time there's heavy rain (though rarely with fatal consequences).
  6. Stone cold sober and as clean as a whistle, and you could expect to be forgiven for NOT being ready for the road in front of you to have disappeared....whether it happened as you crossed it, or it happened hours earlier.

    The bright sparks say that the hole should have been visible 100mtrs away - Fckwits!...it might be now!....because THEY know it's there, and are looking for it!!
    Other cars with their hazards on should have given some indication that there was a problem ahead - well of course!...maybe he was busy looking for a crashed car, or maybe he thought the other cars had broken down, and was busy looking at THEM!...What a total fckwit for not immediately drawing the conclusion that the ROAD HAD DISAPPEARED!...
    And oops...he was a very slight amount over .05...had a tiny amount of drug in him...Conclusion!...it was'nt the the fact that the road had gone...it was the alcohol and drugs that caused said driver to be killed along with his family!.
    Phew!...thanks goodness for THAT!...and there I was thinking the local council might have somehow, been even partly responsible...I apologize for even thinking it!
  7. The court heard that there was THC and alcohol in his blood, and heard from an expert the effects of those on his driving. That is all. The court hasn't reached any conclusion whatsoever as to whether it was a dominant, or the predominant, factor in the accident. In fact, no one has drawn the conclusion. The article only presents a number of items evidence tending towards the conclusion.

    Before you too hastily skewer the SMH/the court/the police, remember that you're concluding, with various degrees of certainty, that it was not a dominant or predominant factor. At least the court has the benefit of evidence in front of it, from which it might draw conclusions as to whether the drugs were or were not a real factor.. I don't see any lawyers standing in front of us to present evidence on which we may give our learned opinions :wink:

    He sounds, at the very least, inattentive and incautious. He was driving with 0.05 still in his system, 50km/h is not fast at all, it was in daylight, and there were other cars that might have indicated a need for extra caution. The evidence from the re-creation is that the collapsed section was visible from a long distance away. The witnesses say that the car began skidding just metres before the collapsed section - sounds like a typical driver, off in a world of his own, and paying no attention whatsoever to the road in front of him. So is my opinion on the facts as we actually know them, or at least so far as the reporter tells us them.
  8. This is slightly OT, but last year I provided evidence to the MCIU on the state of a road where a driver died a few weeks earlier. The MCIU were actively gunning for VicRoads for ignoring previous coroner directions on how to prioritise road repairs. So, whilst the police can sometimes be arses, it's not unheard of for the 'system' to actually work.
  9. if the rain was really heavy like it can be (trust me, when it pisses down around brooklyn, mooney mooney and mt white, it brings new defintition to the term) you would be lucky to see a car 100 metres in front of you, little lone a hole in the road about 15 metres across.

    WSC are pushing for the inquest to find the driver being intoxicated to absolve them of neglingence, any freddy can see that.

    im pretty sure its classified as a local rd now, so wyong whire council has jurisdriction.
  10. Regardless of the way the press will beat it up it's still a tragedy that a family were killed, how would we react if it were our love one's.
    Wouldn't you want justice.
  11. You're a little too far north - that section of road is Gosford Council territory but I agree about the heavy rain and even worse, if it misted up like that area is prone to do then the driver would have been lucky to see 10 metres ahead let alone 100.

    The nice thing about inquests is that it is up to the coroner entirely how he decides based on what is put before him. The usual rules of evidence, etc. do not apply in an inquest the way they do in a criminal case. So we could have a whole phalanx of legal eagles representing a whole raft of government bodies pushing for anything they want but that means SFA as far as the coroner is concerned (coroners can be a bolshie lot :p )
  12. well 1 things for sure.
    that whoppin great hole in the road was definatly a factor. :evil:
  13. That wouldn't happen - it would just be a case of contributory negligence, so that the damages recovered by the estates of the deceased would be appropriately reduced. At any rate, damages are now so limited that it wouldn't make much difference either way - perhaps a hundred thousand difference or something. You don't get much for dying.