Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Hit & Run Death That Should Never Have Happened

29 Oct 2009Sadly an elderly man's life has been taken in unfortunate circumstances that should have never occurred.

A man aged 85 years old, and now indentified by his distraught family as Mr Arthur Waller, needed the assistance of a walking frame, he was trying to cross Canterbury Road at Hurlstone Park on Monday the 26th October at around 8pm when he was hit by a car and killed almost instantly.

This tragedy could've ordinarily been avoided, had the only nearby overpass crossing, which has an elevator, hadn't been out of order (it's also reported that the RTA turns the lift off nightly at 6pm to stop vandalism).

There are also stairs to cross the road but being the user of a walking frame it would've been too difficult for Mr Waller to climb the steep stairs.

Worst of all, the driver left the scene before help could arrive. He has yet to be caught and has been described as a man in his 30's with dark hair and is of Caucasian or European appearance. The car he was driving is reported to be a tan or cream coloured Mazda 323, Senior Sergeant Peter Jenkins said this has been confirmed from witnesses and forensic examinations of debris that were left at the scene from the car.

Witnesses say the man, who was wearing jeans and a long sleeved brown shirt, got out of his car and when a bystander advised that the elderly man had been killed, got back in his car and sped off before police or ambulance officers could arrive. Police are urging for anyone who may know who the driver was to come forward, his car now has front driver side windscreen and headlight damage. The elderly man has said to have been propelled 35 metres forward once he was hit, dying at the scene.

This makes me think, if this had of been someone in a wheelchair, what were they meant to do? This is a form of discrimination, just because the RTA are worried about vandals, doesn't mean people with mobility issues shouldn't be allowed to cross the street after sunset.

I think there should be a system where elderly people and people in wheelchairs or with mobility difficulties that travel alone outside of daylight hours should be issued with a swipe card or key that allows them access into locked elevators at all times. ‘Normal' people are allowed to cross the street at whatever time they like so I don't see why the disabled should be even more restricted than they already are! I will be writing a letter to the RTA and whoever else will listen. They have special keys for disabled toilets, so why not lifts?

Let me know your thoughts on this.

The elderly mans walker knocked over at the scene

The elevator that was locked and out of order

The overpass that Mr Waller should have been able to cross

From the accident scene

View of the accident scene from the overpass

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Previous Comments

Debbie from Marks Point posted on 11 Nov 2009
That is a very sad story Jo. I can't imagine what his family are going through.

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