A 58-year-old woman has died after the vehicle she was in swerved to avoid a kangaroo … and the tragedy has sparked renewed warnings about the dangers of driving along country roads at dawn and dusk.
The accident happened on Grampians Road in Illawarra in western Victoria just before 6am on New year’s Day. The dead woman was from New South Wales.
“Already we’ve had a life lost, the first life lost in 2018,” assistant police commissioner Doug Fryer told reporters. “Just on dawn, a car load of people swerved to miss a kangaroo and tragically we had a woman die in that crash.”
Three other people in the car were also injured. One was airlifted to hospital with non life-threatening injuries and two people sustained minor injuries.
Every year there are many collisions involving animals occur on rural highways and byways … but the advice from bodies such as the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) in New South Wales is clear.
“If you see an animal on the road (alive or dead), do not swerve violently to avoid the animal as this can cause you to lose control of your vehicle or to hit oncoming traffic,” it said. “If you can’t avoid the animal safely you may have to hit it to avoid injury or death to yourself and others.”
“We know that in our country areas at dusk and dawn, we get wildlife on the roads,” Mr Fryer said. “Brake as hard and as safely as you can and brace for impact.”
Late last year, a man suffered horrific injuries after his vehicle rolled off the Carnarvon Highway in Queensland after reportedly attempting to miss a kangaroo.
Also last year, a caravanner was incredibly lucky to avoid serious injury when he swerved to avoid hitting a goat on the North West Coastal Highway near Kalbarri in Western Australia. The man lost control and his 4WD and caravan both toppled over. He was fortunate to escape with only minor bruising.
• Comment below