An unfortunate accident involving a kangaroo and a cyclist proves why the speed limit of Thurgoona Drive should be reduced, believes the man first on scene.
Matthew Oliver was leaving Fairway Gardens estate about 5am on Friday when he came across a woman, still connected to her bike, lying on the road.
The chef-by-trade came to the women’s aid, having completed his first aid certificate with St John’s Ambulance just weeks prior.
“There was a fair amount of blood coming from her head, so I took my jumper off to put under her head and called the ambulance,” he said.
“A car was coming down the hill from the direction of Thurgoona plaza, and we were in the middle of the road, so I waved him down.
“He helped guide traffic around us while I stayed with the lady until the ambulance and police got there.”
The 53-year-old, believed to be of Thurgoona and on her way to meet a friend, was treated for a major laceration to her forehead and possible spinal and leg injuries.
She was transferred to Albury Hospital.
Mr Oliver believed the outcome could had been much worse if it had happened even an hour later, and said a proposal currently with the Roads and Maritime Services to lower Thurgoona Drive from 80km/h was important.
“I was the first to say, ‘what are they doing?’, but after seeing this, I think it needs to be 60km/h,” he said.
“She was right on the corner, and if I wasn’t there on the road, I wonder if someone coming from Thurgoona at 80km/h would have seen her and and been able to stop in time.”
Albury Council engineering and works committee chairman Henk van de Ven re-affirmed his support for the speed reduction but said incidents like this one could not be foreseen.
“I sympathise with this lady – I had an accident with a kangaroo bouncing onto my car six months ago … they are accidents we can’t really prevent,” he said.
“We’re still waiting on the RMS to do their evaluation, it was a three-month process as to what decision they would make.”
Asked if wildlife needed to be better managed with increasing development, Cr van de Ven disagreed.
“I think there’s a record number of kangaroos around and they’ll move where they want to move,” he said.
“There are a lot more around than there used to be, but at the end of the day it’s one of those situations you can’t really control.”
The proposal covers from Table Top Road to east of Litchfield Drive on Thurgoona Drive, and would also enforce 60km/h at Table Top Road, from Kinross Court to Ettamogah Road and Kerr Road, from the Riverina Highway to Thurgoona Drive.
Cr van de Ven said despite some negative reactions, the plans were important with projected growth in the area.
“A couple people have said to me they think 60km/h is too low and it should be 70km/h, but so not to cause confusion, it’s a situation where it would either be 80km/h or 60km/h,” he said.
More than 500 people, or 78 per cent of voters, said in a Border Mail poll they disagreed the speed reductions should go ahead.