Man’s close call on Bruce Highway as van flips
A MAN who survived a "terrifying" Bruce Highway incident when his car flipped and rolled into oncoming traffic has given a scathing review of the road, saying it is the "worst in the country" he has seen.
Brisbane-based motorbike salesman Daniel Kelly was travelling home along the highway south of Carmila at night when his car and trailer hit a pothole and rolled.
Mr Kelly said he was approaching a bend which lead onto a small creek crossing about 6km from the town when a truck with "blinding lights" appeared round the bend.
"I was concentrating on not running off the road because of these lights; they blind you," he said.
"Next thing I knew I was on the bend going over the bridge and that is when it happened.
"I hit this huge pothole and you can't see it … the van went through with a bit of a bump … ripped the tyre off and ripped the axle clean out of the trailer.
"It pulled me across the oncoming lane, flipped me and rolled me on my side facing north when I was travelling south."
He said the crash was unavoidable because of the conditions on the road.
"There was nowhere to swerve," he said.
"You can't miss it and you're on a bridge, if you were to swerve … you've got every possibility of going over the bridge."
Mr Kelly regularly travelled roads across Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales for work.
Mr Kelly described the pothole as about as long as a three-seater couch, or 3m, and about 15cm at its deepest point.
Photos show a build-up of road material and bitumen around its edges, raising it above the highway level.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads, which is responsible for road maintenance, rejected a compensation claim from Mr Kelly.
A department spokesman said it was not liable for damages caused by road hazards "unless it was aware of the hazard and failed to install signs or fix the hazard within a reasonable time". The department did not answer questions about the pothole's repair history that showed signs of previous patching saying it was "unable to advise the timing of the repairs".
Mr Kelly estimated the incident cost him about $20,000 - the trailer and van worth a combined $16,000 and were written off. He said he factored in the cost of a tow truck, loss of work and vehicle storage.