The scene of the Artillery Rd crash where 9-year-old Zara Pakleppa tragically died last year.
The scene of the Artillery Rd crash where 9-year-old Zara Pakleppa tragically died last year.

Fatal intersection haunts frustrated community

FEARS of another tragic death at a notoriously fatal Artillery Rd and Yeppoon Rd intersection haunt Capricornia MP Michelle Landry on her daily commute to and from Yeppoon every day.

Sadly, the beaming lights of emergency services on the busy road are also a sight she has become all too familiar with.

Last night, Ms Landry was making the roughly 50-minute drive home before her vehicle would come to a complete stop - kilometres of traffic backed up in front.

The eerie sight, she said, instantly sent both shivers down her spine and her blood running cold.

Only a few kilometres ahead, emergency services worked carefully to free a pair of young women from the wreckage of a decimated Suzuki Swift.

 

The wreckage of a Suzuki Swift involved in Wednesday afternoon's horrifying accident.
The wreckage of a Suzuki Swift involved in Wednesday afternoon's horrifying accident.

 

Fortunately, the two 17-year-old female occupants escaped with only minor injuries. However, many other victims of the crash hotspot have not been so lucky.

Last year, 9-year-old Zara Pakleppa was tragically killed in a two-vehicle crash at the same juncture. Her brother, Jamie, six, also seriously injured.

"It was on the Cawarral side and all I could see was that cross for the little girl who was killed there 12 months ago. It just sends you cold."

"When you're travelling 100km on that road and you come to stops sign ahead, people that don't know that road just go straight through it. I think that is the cause of a lot of these accidents."

Following the accident, Mrs Landry took to Facebook to reinforce her jointly funded $80 million election promise to see the Department of Main Roads and Transport improve the intersection.

 

Michelle Landry has promised a jointly funded $80 million upgrade to the deadly intersection.
Michelle Landry has promised a jointly funded $80 million upgrade to the deadly intersection.

"We've tried to get in contact with Main Roads today but have been unsuccessful at this stage. What we're going to do is send a follow-up email," she said.

"I had actually, a couple of days ago, sent out an email asking for a meeting. I want to update on a couple of things - Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd and the Ring Road."

"We need to spend it at that nasty intersection as a first priority."

With roadworks expected to start in coming months, Ms Landry suggested more signage - both flashing and painted on the road - should be installed in the interim.

"I have family... I have daughters that travel that road regularly. I know people that have lost teenagers on that road."

"Too many lives have been lost on that intersection and we've got to do something about it."

Ms Landry reminded motorists to remain vigilant on the roads, particularly in the midst of Queensland school holidays and increased drivers unfamiliar with the area.



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