Call for action after Wanneroo Road fatal crash

LAST month’s fatal crash in Nowergup, where a woman was killed when the vehicle she was driving was crushed by a brick-hauling truck, has compounded community concern about the dangers of the Wanneroo Road stretch.

Mirrabooka resident Dong Thi Tuyet Vo (54) is believed to have been attempting a right turn on to Karaborup Road when a truck, heading in the same direction, collided with the Toyota Camry she was driving about 5.40am on October 22.

Investigators are hoping to locate the drivers of two vehicles who may have witnessed the crash.

One was a black utility believed to have been heading south on Wanneroo Road around 5:40am.

A dark SUV-shaped vehicle was also believed to be in the area at the time.

Nearby resident John Jambanis said he had been pushing for safety improvements to the far northern end of Wanneroo Road, which is single-lane in both directions, for more than a decade.

“I’ve lived here all my life and we see what goes on,” he said.

“More accidents are going to happen like this, something has to be done.

“Every time you stop to turn at that intersection (to turn right on to Karoborup Road), you’re not sure whether someone’s going to overtake on the right-hand side or they’re going to hit you in the back… it’s a very dangerous situation.”

Mr Jambanis said there was no room to overtake on the left-hand side unless drivers risked going off-road and losing control.

In 2014, Times reader Colleen Irvine submitted a comment to the newspaper describing her “very scary” experience of nearly being hit by an overtaking car near the Karoborup Road turn-off.

But while the intersection has prompted comments such as those from Mr Jambanis and Ms Irvine, statistics before last month’s fatal collision did not reflect a problem in the area.

A Main Roads spokeswoman referred to the fact there had been just one minor rear-end crash recorded near Karoborup Road in the five years from January 2010 to December 31, 2014.

“There are future plans to upgrade this section of Wanneroo Road to a dual carriageway with new lighting,” she said.

Wanneroo MLA Paul Miles said he had spoken with the office of Transport Minister Dean Nalder since the crash to encourage work within the next year.

“I’ve told the Minister’s office they’re going to have to find $3 million to $4 million to get those works done,” he said.

When asked what he thought the chances were of that happening, he said it was “a bit early to say”, but considered them “pretty good”.

He said the road needed to be aligned with Romeo Road to create a direct intersection with Wanneroo Road.

Karoborup Road lies slightly north of Romeo Road, causing an awkward crossing between the two.

He said farmers used the intersection a lot.

“The geometry is wrong,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s got to be fixed.

“It needs to be made wider… if someone’s stopped there you cannot get around them. There needs to be a right-hand pocket going into Karoborup so traffic can move around safely.”

Labor road safety spokeswoman Michelle Roberts claimed the Government had funds sitting unspent in the Road Trauma Trust Account, which it should be using for upgrades to “black spots” such as the Karoborup Road turn-off.

“It shouldn’t have taken a fatality for this intersection to become a priority, however this recent crash makes the case for priority even more urgent,” she said.

“Not only must this intersection be fixed immediately, but there needs to be an urgent road safety audit and quick action for the northern section of Wanneroo Road.”

Anyone with information on the crash can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.