Dubbo in the News Again - Sadly!!!

Canteen Worker

First Grader
A town in mourning


January 24, 2006

IT is the country town that has been struck by tragedy again and again.

Dubbo was plunged into mourning yesterday with the death of a family of four on its roads - the 10th fatality in less than two months.

They were killed on the Newell Highway near Dubbo on Sunday when Blanche Wandin, 25, is believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel and ploughed into an oncoming truck.

Since December 3 there have been four fatal crashes, three involving children and trucks, on the Newell Highway.

Mrs Wandin, from Ballarat, was driving a blue Ford sedan north towards Tomingley when it veered across the road at 8.50pm.

Ms Wandin, her partner Michael Curnow, 26, and her two children Amber, 7, and her six-year-old son, whose name has not been released, all died instantly.

The tragedy is yet another sad reminder to the other families who lost five loved one son the same day earlier this year, leaving them battling grief and depression.

Nancy Kelly lost her son Zach Evans, 13, when a truck heading towards Dubbo ploughed into their parked car on the side of Mendooran Rd on January 3.

The same accident claimed the life of Dubbo resident Anthea Sando who had stopped to help the family of seven in their Toyota Tarago, which had run out of fuel.

Mrs Kelly yesterday told The Daily Telegraph that when she heard about the latest crash she "totally" lost it.

"I don't understand why this keeps happening, why people keep losing their lives," Mrs Kelly said from her hospital bed, where she had again been admitted to have surgery on injuries she sustained in the crash.

"When something like this happens unexpected it leaves a bigger hole," she said.

"Every day I wake up the same time he left screaming for my baby. You expect your parents to die before you do but you never expect your own children."

Dubbo mayor Allan Smith said the community was again in shock. "People are saddened that this keeps happening and by the fact this time a whole family has been wiped out.

"It really brings home that people need to plan their journey and be cautious of fatigue."

Mr Smith said people needed to be mindful that the highway was a key route between Melbourne and Brisbane for trucks.

"We can't blame the truck. It's just a very saddening thing that has happened."

Police said fatigue was a factor in the latest crash.

Detective Inspector Michael Willing urged motorists to learn from the latest tragedy.

"They've got to take care on the road," Insp Willing said.

"This is the third major accident since January 3. They have to slow down and take regular breaks. An error even on a straight stretch of road can cause a horrific accident."

The driver of the prime mover was not injured but was treated for shock at the scene.

The highway was closed until 3.30pm yesterday.

The Transport Workers Union has called on WorkCover to investigate a spate of fatal road crashes involving trucks.


Journey Man
That article forgets to mention that a Dubbo truck driver and his son were killed in December when they rolled the truck, full of livestock, near Griffith.

The wife/mother teaches kids at the Conservatorium and the boy was very popular at Sth Dubbo High.

The town has had a very rough run of it lately. That stretch of road near Tomingley is fairly inocuous.

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