11 January 2023

UPDATED: Man dies in head-on smash on William Hovell Drive

| Ian Bushnell
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The driver had to be cut out of the Hyundai Getz. Photo: ACT Policing

A man in his early 20s has become the first ACT road death of the year after a head-on smash on William Hovell Drive this morning.

Police said he was the driver of a small Hyundai Getz which collided with a concrete pumping truck at about 7 am, 500 metres west of the Coppins Crossing Road intersection.

Acting Inspector Travis Mills said the Major Collisions Team was investigating the accident but early enquiries suggest the Hyundai crossed onto the wrong side of the road and collided head-on with the truck.

The truck driver was not injured.

The truck involved in the collision. Photo: ACT Policing.

Acting Inspector Mills said it was disappointing to have a road death so early in the year after what he called a horrific 2022 on ACT roads.

“It’s regrettable that we are only 10 days into the new year and we already have our first fatality in the ACT,” he said.

“The message is consistent – slow down, drive to the conditions, do not be distracted while operating a motor vehicle and, quite honestly, think of your family and arrive at your destination safely.”

Billboard on Coppins Crossing Road

The accident scene was just west of Coppins Crossing Road.

William Hovell Drive was closed between Coppins Cross Road and Drake Brockman Drive for most of the morning.

ACT Policing, ACT Ambulance and Fire and Rescue attended the accident.

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Eighteen people died on the ACT’s roads last year, including three in the one accident in October not far from the latest death.

Police are asking any witnesses to today’s crash to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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I recall Gungahlin Drive was not duplicated following a number of collisions with injuries until a fatal head-on occurred. At the same time, it was touted as the fastest growing place in Australia. Go figure.

That particular stretch of road has become more congested, and at fast speeds, for sometime now as Belconnen grows westward (particularly through the outer suburbs west of Holt). Duplication is planned but needs to happen sooner (and with concrete dividers) to help prevent these types of accidents. ACT roads are too slow to respond to the needs of the community, whether it is due to money being drained by the trams or the Bohemian building program this government has, they should be responding faster. Looking at Coulter Drive now (one fatality a year or so ago), it is banked up daily from the Redfern roundabout to William Hovell for a long time during peak periods, totally overloaded and inefficent. The upgrades should come faster, especially since we are now paying (inflation adjusted) 40% higher rates than we paid six years ago.

Maybe people should be taught/encouraged to drive their cars in their lane and not cross into oncoming traffic

Scott Anthony11:42 am 10 Jan 23

William Hovell never used to be such a dangerous road before these new suburbs went in and doubled the traffic on these existing roads… Maybe roads should be built to accommodate the traffic before a new suburb of cheaply made apartments is vomited up..? That’s how it used to be done in the 1980s and 90s.. Canberrans deserve better roads than we have now.

Any road is a dangerous road if you drift out of your lane and into oncoming traffic. Whether or not that’s what happened here, the report also notes that the accident occurred well west of the intersection; it’s hard to see how any of the new suburbs would have had any impact on that.

Capital Retro1:53 pm 10 Jan 23

Where else would a concrete pumping truck be going?

The Govt get the revenue from land sales then upgrade the road network

The government planned back in the day for many of the older roads to be duplicated. However building roads upsets the greens and light rail activists.

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