Daily Telegraph - Friday 2 July 2004 - Mosman Crash

Daily Telegraph - Friday 2 July 2004 - Mosman Crash - Editorial
The Daily Telegraph - Friday 2 July 2004

One-way road to death

By CRAIG VAUGHAN

THE driver of the car that crashed and killed an 18-year-old girl was travelling in the wrong direction up a one-way street and most likely speeding, police revealed yesterday.

Jade Graham died instantly and three other girls were injured when the car they were travelling in left the road and overturned in Mosman on Tuesday night.

Miss Graham and her two friends were travelling in a silver Peugeot driven by 17-year-old Coco Cullen when it crashed in Raglan St at 11.30pm.

Police confirmed yesterday that the car was going the wrong direction along a one-way section of the street when it hit a post, a brick wall and several trees before overturning.

"Raglan St splits into two different one-way sections and the car was travelling the opposite way down the north section," a police spokesman said.

"The investigating police are looking at the speed the vehicle was travelling and the manner of the driving as the key causes," he said.

Police said they had not yet interviewed Miss Cullen and that she was seeking legal advice before talking to them.

"We can not interview the other passengers because they are still in a bad way, so we are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the accident to come forward," the spokesman said.

The two other passengers in the car, both aged 17, suffered serious injuries and were last night still in Royal North Shore Hospital.

One of the passengers, Georgina An st ice, was still in a critical condition last night, and the other unnamed girl was undergoing surgery for a hand injury.

Miss Cullen was treated for a head wound at Manly Hospital, but was discharged on Wednesday.

The Pedestrian Council of Australia responded strongly to the news yesterday, calling for a curfew on young drivers.

"We want night time curfews on all P-plate and L-plate drivers and we want passengers accompanying P-plate drivers to be over 25 years old," said PCA chairman Harold Scruby.

"The statistics speak for themselves," he said.

Photo: Memorial . . . cards and flowers at the scene of the fatal car accident in Mosman

The Daily Telegraph - Friday 2 July 2004

Editorial

Cycle of tragedy

TEENAGERS and cars can be a dangerous combination, and parents of young drivers do their best to instill in their children the deadly risks inherent on the roads.

And all such parents would agree they breath a sigh of relief when their offspring pull safely into the driveway.

But despite the efforts of parents, despite stringent learner-driver procedures, tough driver tests and incessant publicity campaigns focussing on the need for caution, the tragic toll of teenagers dying in road accidents grows.

This week, Year 12 student Jade Graham, of Cremorne, was killed when a car in which she was a passenger overturned. The despair this loss will cause in her family, among her friends and in the community is simply beyond words and the truth is, the pain will endure forever.

Every time such a tragedy occurs, there are calls for new driver limits, new testing policies, and indeed, it is tougher to get a driver's licence now than it has ever been.

But the deaths continue. So something extra is needed something to break the cycle.

Perhaps a limit on the engine power of cars to be driven by young drivers would help. Perhaps a curfew should be imposed.

What is needed is a community debate on the subject, rather than just a transitory sense of sorrow and shock every time an accident occurs.

There's no doubting the need.