A Sydney woman’s micaculous escape from a truck crash on the Great Western Highway at Blackheath has reignited debate about road safety in the Upper Mountains.
Police described Sydneysider Sarina Heta as “extremely lucky” to escape with her life after her Kia Rio sedan was crushed between two large trucks last Wednesday.
Blue Mountains emergency services were called to the scene about 10.50am where they found the 34 year-old trapped in her car. She was treated by ambulance officers while other emergency services workers spent an anxious 45 minutes working to safely remove her from the vehicle.
Ms Heta was flown by helicopter to Westmead Hospital where she was in a stable condition and already reflecting on her miraculous survival.
In an interview with Channel 7, she said she was driving to Orange and thought her time had come when a truck in front of her “suddenly stopped” while a glance through the rear view mirror revealed another truck fast approaching.
“I remember just taking a big breath and taking the steering wheel and actually thinking it was over for me,” she said.
“I was a lucky girl that day with a group of angels looking over me.
“I just keep thinking, I must have done something good, or I have to do something amazing now I have another chance.”
The Great Western Highway was closed between Hat Hill Road and Gardners Crescent for three-and-a-half hours following the crash.
The safety of the highway at Blackheath and the behaviour of road users was hotly debate on the Gazette’s Facebook page following the crash.
“There needs to be turn off lanes to get off the highway, I can’t count how many times I’ve had someone almost go up the back of me and they have nowhere to go,” wrote Shazza Turner.
Other residents singled out the behaviour of truck drivers on the highway.
“The trucks very rarely travel at 60km through the town. . . There is no point trying to out run them as they are more powerful and you end up exceeding the speed limit,” wrote Alex Michie.
Others blamed poor driver behaviour in general.
“The road is fine . . . it’s the halfwits driving on it that is the problem,” wrote Josh Steel.
The NSW Crash Investigation Unit’s inquiries into the crash are still continuing.
Members of the public with further information can contact Springwood Detectives on 4751-0299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
A series of workshops on areas of concern on the Great Western Highway will be held this month, starting tonight at Mount Victoria Public School (Wednesday February 13) and at Katoomba Mountain Heritage Motel tomorrow (Thursday, February 14). Call 1800 035 735 for more details.