Five women fighting for upgrade of Coast’s killer road

A GROUP of determined women will stand together at next week's Fraser Coast council meeting and fight to seal a road where two people have died in recent years and others have been injured.

Tracey Gerzina started the fight to get Beelbi Creek Rd upgraded after Vicky McGrath was killed while driving on the road on October 21.

Her two children were injured in the crash.

Ms Gerzina lived on the road for a number of years and has her own story to tell.

She crashed after losing control on the gravel in 2009 and is thankful the crash wasn't far worse.

"I'm a walking, talking survivor of that road," she said.

Ms Gerzina said residents had been witnesses to serious crashes and had been forced to console children in the aftermath of the incidents.

She lives at Howard now, but family still lives on Beelbi Creek Rd and has chronic panic attacks when forced to drive along as she has flashbacks to the crash that endangered her life.

Just a few hundred metres from where Vicky died is a cross that is another sobering reminder of just how dangerous the road can be.

Michael Pickering was seriously injured in the crash on Beelbi Creek Road on November 29, 2015, when the ute he was driving left the road and crashed into a tree.

He died after spending two months in hospital.

In the aftermath of Vicky's death, her friends and neighbours spoke of the dangers of the road.

Speaking to the Chronicle in the aftermath of the crash, Fraser Coast council chief executive Ken Diehm said the road would be considered for future upgrades

"Any loss of life on our roads is a tragedy and the council extends its condolences to Ms McGrath's family and friends during this difficult time," Mr Diehm said.

"We understand the Queensland Police Service are investigating and we await their report and advice on what contributed to the accident.

"The Beelbi Creek Road is about 7.5km long, of which about 5.5km is unsealed, and its primary purpose is to provide access to the 13 residents in the area.

"The road has low traffic volumes compared to many other gravel roads, but we are aware that many motorists use it as a short cut rather than use the safer bitumen roads nearby.

"As with all gravel roads, there are no speed limitations as motorists are required to drive according to the prevailing condition of the road.

"Beelbi Creek Road receives maintenance grading twice a year as part of the council's road maintenance program, while the two curves on the road have warning signage.

"The estimated cost to seal the road would be between $5 million and $6 million.

"While the council has no plans to seal Beelbi Creek Road under this year's budget, it will be listed for consideration in future budgets."

Official accident records for the last 10 years indicate eight crashes with two fatalities.



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