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Woman in Australia survives falling traffic sign which crushed car

Woman in Australia survives falling traffic sign which crushed car

A screengrab from footage acquired by 9News showed the signboard falling on top of a car.

MELBOURNE: A woman was injured after an overhead traffic sign crashed onto a freeway in Melbourne, Australia last Tuesday (Jan 8), crushing her car, according to Australian media reports. 

The metal sign measuring 5m by 4m was part welded and bolted to an overhead structure when it fell during evening peak hour traffic.

Fifty-three-year-old Nella Lettieri was not seriously injured, but sustained bruises in the incident, reported ABC News. 

She was taken to hospital where she was said to be in a "stable condition".

"It felt like a roller door had slammed shut in front of me," Ms Lettieri told ABC News.

"I've gone to swerve, but as I swerved, it just felt like the sign was actually falling on the car. And it just kept bouncing, and I felt like it was pushing me to the right."

Authorities launched an investigation following the incident, but deemed the freeway safe.

VicRoads, the road and traffic authority in the state of Victoria, brought in an independent reviewer to get to the bottom of the incident, reported ABC News.

"It's too early to talk about the detailed findings of that investigation, there's a lot of work that needs to be done," said VicRoads deputy chief executive Robyn Seymour when asked about the seeming appearance of rust at the bottom of the sign, according to ABC News.

"At this point we don't know what's caused it. We really need to have metal specialists looking at the sign, as well as our engineers. 

"We really need to, and we want to, get to the bottom of what went wrong in this situation so that we can ensure that it doesn't happen again."

As a precaution following the incident, a second sign on the gantry at the centre of the incident has been taken down for an inspection, said ABC News.

"They have taken down one other sign on that cantilever," Victoria's Acting Premier, Tim Pallas, said, as quoted by ABC News.

"Because people, with a fair degree of reason, would be concerned about signage on that section of freeway, the major road projects authority has overnight inspected all the signs and have satisfied themselves that those signs are in good order."

Seymour also assured that similar-sized signs and gantries around the state were being audited. So far, no issues were uncovered in the first six audits carried out, said ABC News.

Source: CNA/reuters/aa


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