Three people killed in head-on crash on Indian Ocean Drive north of Perth


August 17, 2017 15:45:44


Indian Ocean Drive is closed to non-local traffic in both directions. (ABC News: Emily Piesse)

A man, woman and child are dead following a head-on crash on a major highway north of Perth.

Emergency services are at the scene of the crash on Indian Ocean Drive at Breton Bay, 110 kilometres north of the city, after two cars collided head-on around 7:20am.

Two ambulances, a rescue helicopter and six firefighting trucks are at the scene.

The woman is believed to be in her 30s and the man is elderly. The child’s age is not confirmed.

Police have closed Indian Ocean Drive, south of Bennies Road, until further notice and are warning motorists to avoid the area.

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Indian Ocean Drive is the main road connecting Perth with the town of Lancelin, and has a speed limit of 110 kilometres per hour.

In June, a Singaporean man died near the same stretch of road when his car collided with a four-wheel-drive towing a caravan.

The crash occurred on the WA Day long weekend.

Concerns raised about highway road safety

The stretch of Indian Ocean Drive between Lancelin and Dongara, just north of where the crash occurred, was named as one of the 10 most risky stretches of road in the RAC Risky Roads 2016/17 study.

The motoring group said concerns about the road included that it lacks overtaking opportunities, was a narrow road and included tight curves or blind crests.

The road safety commissioner, Main Roads and WA Police are due to meet in Perth next week to discuss a safety audit of the road, which was opened in 2010 to connect small coastal towns along the state’s coast and provide a scenic way to drive north for tourists.

In June, WA road safety commissioner Kim Papalia said there had been more than 50 serious crashes on the road in the past 18 months, including a number of fatalities.

Mr Papalia said the audit would look at all areas after reviewing crash data.

“Certainly driver behaviour is really important, but also we’ve got to look at the engineering as well,” he said.


The crash happened south of the intersection of Indian Ocean Drive and Bennies Road, north of Perth. (Supplied: Google Maps)

Local emergency services volunteer Glenna Macaskill, who is collecting signatures in an online petition to improve safety on Indian Ocean Drive, said better signage was needed, particularly to warn tourists it was a dangerous stretch of road.

“It’s getting ridiculous, the number of accidents that are happening on this road,” she said.

She also said there were no “rumble” strips down the centre of the road, which could help prevent people from drifting into the wrong lane.

Fellow volunteer Kimberley Walker said a friend almost lost his life on the road last year, prompting her to start campaigning for change.

“It’s constant fatalities, I’ve dealt with numerous of them,” she said.

“I don’t mean it horribly but it not only impacts me and affects my life, it affects my family, the poor innocent bystanders, the poor people in those accidents, it’s horrific what we deal with, I mean we’re only volunteers.”

She said tourists did not always understand West Australian road rules and she wanted foreign drivers to have to sit a test before they were allowed to drive.


The road where the crash happened is a major highway leading north from Perth. (Supplied: Google Maps)






First posted

August 17, 2017 12:16:06

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