Edge of destruction

Gavin Mandrelle with son Harvey, 2, at the crash scene. 192261_07 Picture: CAM LUCADOU-WELLS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Shell-shocked residents on a busy and speedy section of Springvale Road say they are just waiting for a serious accident to happen.

Mother-of-two Jessica Ferguson was seconds away from being a casualty as she collected her kerbside bins from outside a set of units near Gray Street on the afternoon of Thursday 28 March.

As she walked back up her driveway, she heard a massive crash.

Behind her, an out-of-control Ford Territory had mounted the footpath and demolished the front yard’s brick retaining wall and metal fence.

Ominously, children’s bikes were trapped under the debris.

The vehicle continued down the footpath towards another pedestrian, spared by the SUV coming to rest against a tree on the nature strip.

This near-miss was far from a one-off in this 70km/h zone just south of the Springvale Junction of Police and Centre roads and Princes Highway.

“It’s pretty much a daily occurrence,” Ms Ferguson said. “An accident waiting to happen.”

The day after, there was a car crash just four doors down from the scene.

Two weeks earlier, a vehicle ferrying children to the nearby Springvale Rise Primary School collided with another car at the corner of Gray Street and Springvale Road.

One of the cars mounted the kerb and mowed down a traffic sign.

Ms Ferguson’s fiancee Gavin Mandrelle has called for urgent action such as a speed limit reduction. It is what he says is a “danger zone turning into a death zone”.

He sees countless speeding cars on the downhill section, veering around stopped garbage trucks and public-transport buses.

“This is a residential zone with kids and families walking down to and from school or childcare during the day.

“My neighbour, whose fence is completely destroyed is in total shock. They have two kids too and luckily no one was home today when the accident happened at the time.”

In the past five years, there’s been seven crashes that have resulted in injuries at the section of Springvale Road between Young and Lenore streets.

Two of them were classified as serious, and none involved pedestrians, according to VicRoads.

That’s not to mention the bingles without injuries.

Nor the serious crashes at the notorious Springvale ‘spaghetti’ Junction about 200 metres north, including one in which seven were hospitalised earlier this year.

Greater Dandenong councillor Sean O’Reilly said the “overly complex” junction elevated risk.

“Council has strongly advocated for this intersection to be redesigned and reconstructed.

“I believe that this should be treated as a higher priority than the Level Crossing Removal project, due to evident safety risks.”

Residents and Greater Dandenong Council have expressed concern to VicRoads after the 28 March crash.

VicRoads regional movement and safety manager Sasha Yarwood said the authority would investigate the road to determine if safety improvements were needed.

“We welcome feedback from the community for ways to improve safety on the roads they rely on every day.”