15 June 2007


A ute on its lid
So here we were swanning our way serenely along the Murchison Highway, & I pulled over to check the pictured red ute. It turns out that not only did the driver walk away, he’ll probably be able to drive the thing once the oil’s settled in properly & all.

I stood on the edge of the road and took an area shot as well, then stepped well clear of the road as I could hear another ute driving up the hill towards me.

And I’m glad I did, because as this bloke came around the corner, he managed to get his tyre to straddle a thin belt of nearly invisible ice sitting just on the left edge of the road, then went all wobbley.

At one stage, the ute was aimed directly at me, but the driver very carefully (& quickly) fought the wheel to get his steerers aimed along the road again.

The steerers found a grip, which sort-of made things worse, because the ute swung around so it was now aimed directly at my car, containing my wife & kinder.

Mr Driver worked his wheel hard again, and the steerers caught again, aiming him at the other side of the road. He fought this carefully, too, so was able to only give the hill (which as you could imagine was not exactly soft rock) a very gentle kiss with his left front fender.

This spun his ute end-for-end, so the left-hand side of the tail smacked reasonably solidly into the dirt & rock, stopping him. He was able to re-start the ute & crawl across the road into the clear bit, which was remarkably well-timed as three semis & six cars (two with trailers) rounded the bend above us, heading down the hill past Tullah.

I was a bit busy to grab snaps of all of this, but his white Origin ute looked reasonably OK, with just gentle bends in the left corners... but with radiator water trickling out of both of the front corners.

He was only doing about 50km/hr as he left the corner (in a 100km zone), but I think this bloke needs a round of applause for missing everything important (ie, the humans) & scoring such minor damage from a slide which could well have involved a tree, another vehicle, or a sizeable rock.


lucychili said...


Leon Brooks said...

What gets up my nose is not so much that stuff like this happens several times a week, but that the Tassie Gummint wants to close down Rosebery Hospital for economic reasons.

Next possible stop (if that's left alone, big if) is Queenstown's new small hospital, 50km away. After that, it's Burnie at about 130km. Over twisty, steep, icey roads just the same as the one on which the original accident (whatever it turns out to be) happened.

I reckon it should be law that the pollies representing out-of-the-way places should be required to spend at least 2/3 of their actual lives really living there. Yes, it would be a comms handicap. Yes, travel expenses would go up. But no, potential disasters like that would show their faces much less also.

Leon Brooks said...

Should mention that Burnie is in the opposite direction, and that htere are no practical hospitals south-ish past Queenstown for a very long way.

So say an accident happens in Rosebery or Tullah, and because it's urgent the patient gets ambulanced down to Queenstown. Queenstown need more help, so now the patient has 160km more to cover up past the lakes through Tullah to Burnie.

The day that the patient is a serious pollie is the day we'd see an improvement there. An expensive improvement, since Rosebery would have to start from scratch. The next possibilty would be Strahan, but they're tucked away down in a corner even more distant than Queenstown, and have no hospital themselves.