Illegal parking: Woman falls from gopher

Peta Crane, who uses a gopher, fell and hurt herself when she tried to go around a car that was parked illegally on the footpath.
Picture: David Baylis   d450668
Peta Crane, who uses a gopher, fell and hurt herself when she tried to go around a car that was parked illegally on the footpath. Picture: David Baylis d450668

Shire of Kalamunda resident Peta Crane, who uses a gopher to walk her dog Bella, was trying to get past a car which was parked diagonally across the footpath, but couldn’t and so decided to take the road instead.

“But the gopher tipped and I hit the asphalt and it was a hot day,” Ms Crane said. She suffered facial cuts, bruising and abrasions in the fall.

Ms Crane said she was trying to get to the bottom of the Lesmurdie Falls to walk Bella about 3pm on the weekend.

“The driveway of the house I was trying to get past on my walk had no cars in it,” she said.

“So there was no need to park on the footpath but this is something I notice people are doing more and more in the Shire and they are not considering how this is impacting on others,” she said.

Ms Crane said she lay on the road for some time yelling for help before she was able to get someone to come and help her.

She has limited mobility, so it is challenging for her to get up after a fall.

“I tried to push my arms into the road as strongly as I could but I was unable to get back up, because the asphalt was so hot it was burning my hands.”

Previously a paraplegic, Ms Crane has endured years of very determined practice and physiotherapy to walk again.

“Eventually a young motorbike rider went past and heard my cries for help and came to lift me up, back on my gopher, which he straightened from the road.

“He went into the house and asked for a packet of peas to put on my face, which was swelling up and bleeding,” she said.

“We also told the elderly pensioner who had parked illegally that she had caused my accident and please not to do it again in the future.”

Ms Crane rang the police later from home and was told the issue was not under their jurisdiction but that of Shire rangers.

Kalamunda Shire President Andrew Waddell said the rangers had spoken to the woman who parked across the pavement and she was very regretful.

“But this is a serious matter and I urge all residents to take a photo with their phone and send it to us if they witness people parked on the pavement,” Cr Waddell said.

“We need a picture to show the number plate and also capture the way the car has blocked the footpath.”

Rangers are rostered seven days a week in the shire.

Ms Crane said on her way home after the accident she was unable to get quickly home, because another car had blocked the footpath and parked illegally further down the road.

“I had to go the long way home and it was very inconvenient, as I was injured.”

Ms Crane said her message to people who parked on the footpath was to “think before you do it, because if you had limited mobility, how would you feel?”

Cr Waddell said footpaths were there to provide safe access for pedestrians; not for parking vehicles.

The fine for footpath parking is $55.

He said rangers would issue infringements to people found to be illegally parked.

“This incident was entirely avoidable, and while I commend Ms Crane on her bravery and endurance, she should not have been placed in this difficult position.”