SUV rolls down paddock at Boiler Hill in Bigga, driver walks free

ON SCENE: Andy Andersen of Grenfell lost control of his car on Reids Flat Rd at Boiler Hill, Bigga. Photo: Hannah Sparks.
ON SCENE: Andy Andersen of Grenfell lost control of his car on Reids Flat Rd at Boiler Hill, Bigga. Photo: Hannah Sparks.

An 88-year-old man was lucky to escape with a couple of scratches after rolling his car off a notoriously dangerous road in Bigga on Thursday morning.

Andy Andersen was travelling from Grenfell to Bigga when he lost control of the car on Reids Flat Road at Boiler Hill about 9.45am.

He went through a fence, into the paddock and rolled once, landing upright.

Mr Andersen said he was only travelling about 40 kilometres per hour.

"The corregation took control. I tried to correct myself but I came off," Mr Andersen said.

It was the first time Mr Andersen had driven on Reids Flat Rd. He was on his way to visit a friend in Bigga.

"I won't be taking this road again," he said.

However, he said he would be buying a lottery ticket, hoping his "luck from above" continues.

Police said they would be filing a report.

"Hopefully, we can get this road improved because we've just driven it and it's badly corrugated," the officer on scene said.

Bigga SES Unit's Matt Raymond was first on scene to provide medical assistance to Mr Andersen before paramedics arrived.

Mr Raymond is a Bigga resident and said the road was known for its bad corrugation.

Paramedics said Mr Andersen didn't require hospitalisation and Mr Raymond took care of him until his friend arrived.

The car was a write-off, although Mr Andersen said his insurance would cover a new one.

Residents said this wasn't the first time an accident had occurred on the road.

The car rolled in Sue and Brett Picker's paddock.

"We've been asking the council to seal the road for 32 years and they always tell us it's not dangerous enough for funding to be put towards it," Mrs Picker said.

There have been several accidents on the road at the same corner Mr Andersen came off and another nearby. However, many drivers have been assisted by residents and never reported it in the past, Mrs Picker said.

The Pickers have also contacted former and current local members including Pru Goward and Angus Taylor and ran a petition attracting 4000 signatures in support of sealing the road several years ago.

"Now that we're an RV friendly town, there are more caravans coming down that road and trucks bringing fodder," Mrs Picker said.

The road brings traffic from Boorowa, Cowra and further afield.

It is also the most direct road to bring children from areas such as Hovells Creek and Reids Flat, which are in Bigga Public School's catchment area.

Upper Lachlan Shire Council did agree to reconstruct and seal 5km of Reids Flat Rd at Boiler Hill in 2017 as a priority, but said it wasn't able to secure funding.

"Council staff have progressively been applying for grant funding," acting general manager Andrew Croke said.

"The funding applications are made on the basis of a road meeting the funding criteria requirements of each specific commonwealth government and state government funding program. Key criterions include: meeting a benefit cost ratio necessary to attain funding, high traffic numbers and economic development and transportation criterion."

"The majority of the council's road network road reconstruction and capital works upgrades are funded by external grants, with the council contributing funding where required," Mr Croke said.

"The council is yet to be successful in receiving grant funds for the reconstruction and sealing of 5km of Boiler Hill on Reids Flat Road and therefore no allocation of funding has been made by the council towards this road upgrade and no funding is included in the council's 2019/2020 Operational Plan and four year Delivery Program.

"In addition, this section of road does not meet the requirements to qualify for grants under the state government and commonwealth government road safety programs."

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