Warning to drivers to secure load
WHILE driving home last Saturday afternoon from Warwick on the Allora back road, Marion Denny was faced with a split-second decision which will now haunt her.
Mrs Denny was forced to take evasive driving action when she passed a white utility heavily laden with unsecured firewood.
One 16.2kg log of ironbark rolled off the pile and into the path of her vehicle.
“What would have happened if I was in a smaller car with children in the back, if I didn’t steer out of the way in time, if the wood had hit someone after it ricocheted off my car?” she said.
“I can’t stop thinking about all the ‘what-ifs’.”
Horrified, Mrs Denny saw the heavy piece of lumber hurtle towards her and she quickly turned the wheel in order to avoid a collision with the air-born load.
“I remember looking at the ute because it looked odd, this high pile of wood,” Mrs Denny said.
“The wood came off, hit the wheel of my car and then ricocheted off into the bushes about 30 metres away.”
Shaken and angry, the concerned resident pulled over to search for the log.
“I looked at my wheel and there was a large bulge on the tyre, the size of a golf ball,” Mrs Denny said.
“The impact had also ripped away a section from below the fender.
“The railway was close and I was genuinely worried it had gone on the tracks, it was that big it could have caused a derailment.”
“I found the wood in the bushes and carried it back to my car – I had bruises all down my arms from carrying it.
“When I got home, I brought the bathroom scales outside and it weighed 16.2kg.”
Unaware of the horror his unsecured load caused, the man in the ute drove off with his wood ready to stock the fireplace for winter.
Meanwhile a passer-by saw Mrs Denny’s distress and stopped.
“I think his name was Mark and he must have been a builder because he had tools and took the damaged part of my car off while I went looking for the wood,” she said.
A Warwick Police spokesman said it was a timely reminder for people to secure their loads. “It’s a $233 fine for people with a load that’s not properly secured,” the spokesman said.