Five years after her car crashed through the fences on a bridge and plunged into the water below, a NSW woman has been charged thousands for the damage caused – despite arguing that the fences are “totally inadequate” for stopping accidents like hers.
“I could have died that night because of that bridge and now they have the hide to send me a bill for repairs!” Maroney told A Current Affair.
Deb Maroney continues to be traumatised after the incident, where her Ford Falcon slid on the greasy surface of the road on Swansea Bridge in heavy rain on a winter’s night five years ago.
Crashing through two fences on the bridge near Newcastle, Maroney’s car plunged into the deep water channel beneath the bridge.
Maroney has received ongoing therapy since, telling the Channel 9 program that she still has trouble going over the bridge to this day.
“I can’t even go through a carwash because of the water hitting the car,” she said.
When the bill for $11,750 arrived recently, it brought up all sorts of feelings for Maroney, including anger.
“All these years on the NSW Roads and Maritime have decided to charge me for the damage caused by the accident,” she said.
“The two fences protecting motorists on the north side of the bridge are totally inadequate.
“One is nothing more than a school fence and the other looks like a swimming pool fence.”
Maroney added that her car still went “straight into the water” after hitting not one, but two fences.
“If they had been something substantial, I would have been okay,” she said.
She isn’t the only one concerned about the safety of the bridge, with former Lake Macquarie councillor John Gilbert campaigning for the bridge to be upgraded for a decade.
“But they just refuse,” he told A Current Affair.
“Deb should be sending the RMS a bill, not them sending her one.”
Since A Current Affair’s coverage of Maroney’s story, the RMS have contacted her, telling her the bill had been waived and apologising for the stress.
However, there has been no word on whether the bridge fencing will be upgraded.
“It’ll kill someone one day,” Maroney said.
Image: A Current Affair
This article first appeared on OverSixty.