Bundaberg region road toll now 17
THE Bundaberg region is headed for its worst year on the roads after a man was killed yesterday when he walked in front of a van while talking on his mobile phone.
The man’s death brought the region’s road toll to 17 – just two short of the horror year of 2007 – before the worst period on the roads has started.
The 25-year-old pedestrian, who police said has lived in Bundaberg for a number of years, is believed to have walked in the path of the van as it travelled along Scotland Street at 9.40am. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bundaberg resident Paul Hornsby was walking near the man just before he was hit.
“I thought he was walking behind me (along the side of the street) and he just crossed the road,” he said.
“I saw him in the corner of my eye – he crossed the street and the next thing there was a big bang.”
Although he had 15 years of service with the SES, Mr Hornsby said this type of experience “hadn’t affected me like this” before.
“It’s different when it happens right in front of you,” he said.
Mr Hornsby called Triple-0 immediately.
Scotland Street resident Heather Walls called out to tenant Robert Benham when she heard the accident.
“I didn’t see it, but I heard it and got the shock of my life,” she said.
Mr Benham rushed to the scene to try and help the man, who was trapped under the vehicle.
“Basically, all I could do was hold his hand and pray,” he said.
Mr Benham said he had seen four pedestrian fatalities – two in Sydney and now two in Bundaberg.
“You never get used to it,” he said.
“He’s someone’s son and had his whole life ahead of him.
“No one wants to hear this kind of information this close to Christmas.”
Ms Walls said she had seen another fatal about two years ago in Scotland Street and was worried about driving habits on the road.
“You ought to hear the hoons at night – it’s shocking,” she said.
The dead man is believed to have been living in the Bundaberg Homeless Men’s Hostel. The female driver was suffering shock and taken to Bundaberg Hospital.