Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More on the tree that did it.

This accident happened in Gore's Main Street (which hang on a mo' I'm guessing is Gore's main street), but it somewhat reminds me of visits I used to make to the deep south, a long, long time ago.

I was working for the coal mines at the time, my duties sometimes saw me winging to obscure provincial airports & then either being picked up by someone, or renting a car & heading into REALLY obscure parts of the country. Like Huntly, Westport, Greymouth and Ohai.

You've probably heard of all of those places except Ohai. Ohai's a tiny town about 50k north of Invercargill. There's nothing there but a pub & 5 or 6 coal mines. Or that was the case in the 1980s anyway. Back then there was a population of about 400. Goodness knows what it is now, but I recall that they were selling houses in nearby Nightcaps for $10 a few years ago.

What reminds me of these racers though, is a trip I took in a rickety old landrover driven by one of the locals, between Invercargill & Ohai. Once you're in the countryside, the route pretty much takes the form of long, long straight roads for miles, abruptly terminated by T intersections. As you approach each intersection, you cannot help but notice that directly in front of you across the road, is a massive tree.

The driver told me that loads of kids head for the big smoke each Friday, liquor up, and then drive at speed back into the sticks.

Every one of those trees and intersections, he told me, was responsible at some stage, for at least one high speed fatal collision - in the dark, it's easy to forget that a right angle turn & a big tree are looming up at 150km/h

I was wondering last night, as I did at the time, why they didn't remove the trees so that idiots would crash through the fences & maybe survive.

But then I figured they probably put the trees there to protect the fences.

Tree cops it for road death - New Zealand news on