Fatal crash spurs MP’s safety call

Catherine MasseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
About 13,500 vehicles travel the deadly 110km/h stretch of Bussell Highway each day, and works to duplicate the road are set to be completed by early 2023.
Camera IconAbout 13,500 vehicles travel the deadly 110km/h stretch of Bussell Highway each day, and works to duplicate the road are set to be completed by early 2023. Credit: 7NEWS/7NEWS

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam has appealed to various State ministers this week after another fatal crash occurred along the deadly Bussell Highway.

At 3.43pm last Friday, two women were killed when a white Toyota Hilux utility collided with a Volvo fuel tanker and a blue Mitsubishi Lancer sedan near Ludlow-Hithergreen road.

Both occupants of the Lancer, Isabel Hahnel, 58, and Natalie Jane Harding, 51, died at the scene.

The truck driver was unharmed, and the Hilux driver, a 54-year-old Glen Iris man, was charged.

Ms Mettam said an alarming number of motorists had contacted her after the smash demanding change, and she had appealed to the transport and police ministers for increased safety measures.

“Sadly this is the second fatal accident close to the roadworks on Bussell Highway in just three weeks,” Ms Mettam said.

“Bussell Highway between Capel and Busselton is listed by the RAC as the most dangerous road in regional WA.

“The constant reminder for drivers to slow down, drive to conditions, and to drive within the specified speed limits are unfortunately having limited impact.”

Regular police patrols, speed cameras, and a speed limit review to boost safety were among suggestions listed by Ms Mettam.

The crash comes just three weeks after Perth couple Sabine and James Mather were killed in a similar collision near Hutton Road, 5km from this latest tragedy.

This is the 27th fatal crash on South West roads this year, up from 22 in 2019.

A Main Roads WA spokesperson said any fatality was one too many.

“Preliminary crash investigations are conducted by Main Roads at the site of all fatal crashes on the public road network in Western Australia,” the spokesperson said.

“If there are any road environmental factors identified, a detailed crash location report shall then be completed which will make recommendations to minimise or eliminate any identified hazards.”

About 13,500 vehicles travel the deadly 110km/h stretch of Bussell Highway each day, and works to duplicate the road are set to be completed by early 2023.

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