Road victim's family sent bill for guard rail

Article from:
Ursula Heger
August 19, 2009 11:59am

THE family of a car-crash victim has been sent a bill for the cost of a guard rail damaged in the accident, with a note adding "sorry for your loss".
Several weeks after a young girl was killed in an accident on the Pacific Motorway at Worongary on the Gold Coast, the girl's mother was sent a letter from the Department of Main Roads making a claim for the cost of repairs to a damaged guard rail, the Courier-Mail reports.

The letter reads: "Roadside property such as guard rails, traffic lights and landscaping are maintained by Main Roads with taxpayers' funds for the benefit of the whole community.

"By law, this department is required to recover the costs of damage from the responsible driver and this letter is to advise you about that process.''

It continues: "Main Roads has assessed the most economical way of repairing the damage and will invoice the Estate of (name withheld) for those costs when finalised".

The letter even tells the family that photographs of the damage are available on request.

It then tells the family "sorry for your loss" and "understand that this situation may be difficult for (name withheld)'s family".

It is signed on behalf of South Coast Region Regional Director Andrew Cramp.

Main Roads Craig Wallace apologised to the family of a young girl, saying the letter was "inappropriate".

"This should not have happened, and I apologise for the stress this undoubtedly caused the family,'' he said.

Mr Wallace said the Department of Main Roads does have a policy to seek payment for the cost of damaged road infrastructure in some circumstances.