Crash a close call for Butler mother and daughter

Elizabeth Lynn of Butler. Picture: Martin Kennealey                  d459393
The aftermath of the crash. Picture: Kylie Oliver
Elizabeth Lynn of Butler. Picture: Martin Kennealey d459393 The aftermath of the crash. Picture: Kylie Oliver

A BUTLER resident says a 5km drive to a Monday afternoon swimming lesson turned into a terrifying crash for she and her seven-year-old daughter this month.

Elizabeth Lynn was driving to The Swim School in Merriwa with the oldest of her three daughters on September 5 when her four-wheel-drive was involved in a crash about 3.25pm.

“We could see the swim centre from the crash; we were so close,” she said.

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Crediting the car and safety belts with saving their lives, Ms Lynn said they were heading south on Marmion Avenue in Butler when afternoon school traffic ahead slowed.

Looking in her rear view mirror, she realised the Toyota Landcruiser behind was not slowing and thanks to defensive driving training, angled her Nissan Patrol away from the traffic in front.

“I turned my wheels to the median strip to avoid hitting the cars in front,” she said.

“I had previously done two defensive driving courses; I was able to prepare for impact and minimise the damage – the cars in front of me weren’t touched.”

Ms Lynn said the impact sent her 4WD airborne over the verge and across the median strip into the northbound lane.

“We went into the path of an oncoming truck,” she said.

“We hit the side of the truck and went back into the median strip.”

She lost control when she tried to avoid a tree before the 4WD came to a stop, and the side impact meant she was trapped in the car, with broken glass causing minor injuries to her head.

“My daughter just started screaming from the sight, when she saw the blood coming from my face,” she said.

Ms Lynn said she was grateful to three women who stopped to help, calming her hysterical daughter and calling emergency services.

“I was trapped in the car for 45 minutes,” she said.

“One of the ladies held my hand the whole time and reassured me.”

Main Roads WA reported Marmion Avenue was closed in both directions for about an hour as a result of the crash.

St John Ambulance, Department of Fire and Emergency Services and police attended, and had to use the jaws of life to get Ms Lynn out of her car.

While her daughter had no injuries, Ms Lynn was taken to Joondalup Health Campus with suspected spinal injuries.

She left hospital the following day, grateful to have no broken bones, although her injuries included whiplash, grazes from the glass, and blurry vision from glass cuts on her cornea.

Traffic police are still investigating the crash, which was one of several northern suburbs crashes on that Monday afternoon.

Ms Lynn said it had been scary to be in the emergency department hearing other crash victims being brought in and staff attempting to resuscitate them.

Ms Lynn urged other drivers to take more care on the roads, to avoid rushing and be aware of their responsibility to their own safety as well as that of others.

“We need to look after each other on the roads,” she said.

“Everyone has families and we all want to get home.”

She said she also hoped driver aggression would be alleviated once Marmion Avenue became a dual carriageway.

The City of Wanneroo allocated $2 million to start the road widening project between Lukin Drive and Butler Boulevard in its 2016-17 Budget.