GREAT-GRANDMOTHER Helen Graham believes she survived a head-on smash that killed another driver near Ledge Point on Monday because she was concentrating so carefully.
When a grey Holden SUV swerved to the wrong side of the road and into the path of Ms Graham’s four-wheel-drive on Indian Ocean Drive, she did not hesitate.
“I instantly swung to the left, which is lucky because I don’t have airbags in my car,” Ms Graham said.
“I was watching the traffic so much, it was a split-second reaction. I saw him the minute he pulled out.”
Despite her efforts, she could not avoid the collision and the SUV sideswiped her 4WD, wrenching the wheels off the driver’s side of her vehicle and showering her with windscreen glass.
“It was scary,” Ms Graham said.
“Because I’ve turned, the front of the bike rack on my camper (trailer) has come out a little bit and he’s slammed straight into the corner of my (quad) bike rack … my quad’s gone about 30m into the bush and was destroyed.”
Ms Graham’s vehicle careened down an embankment and slowed down as it hit the sand.
She believes the lost wheels prevented her car from rolling but she is unsure how she escaped serious injuries, particularly after seeing photographs and footage of the crash scene.
“(I feel) very lucky that I’m still here, it could have been so much worse, I’m not ready to leave my kids, my grandkids … I have great grandkids too,” Ms Graham said.
“Cuts and grazes that’s it. I had both feet on my brake trying to stop. It must have got them out of the way a bit.”
Her dog Jada was in the back seat and was terrified but also uninjured. Ms Graham said she did not know why the driver of the other vehicle, a Singaporean man holidaying in WA with his wife and two children, veered to the wrong side of the road.
The crash has prompted calls for upgrades to the busy stretch of highway between Ledge Point and Lancelin.
Member for Moore Shane Love said since Indian Ocean Drive had opened in 2010 it had gone from having hundreds of cars on it every day to thousands.
“It is windy, narrow, with very few passing opportunities,” he said.
Ms Graham said she also believed it should be widened and potentially needed a bigger police presence, saying she had not seen a police car travelling to Lancelin and back on the long weekend.
The 64-year-old said her thoughts were with the family of the man killed. His wife and young son and daughter were fortunately not badly injured.
“They have my sympathy and my condolences but I couldn’t have missed him,” Ms Graham said.
She said she had been driving again since the crash but it had caused her a lot of financial difficulty because she was on a disability pension.
“But we’re still here, we can rebuild,” Ms Graham said.
She urged other motorists to take care, slow down and be alert while driving.