Dodged a bullet

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 at 16:05
ThreadID: 140529 Views:1616 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
G'day Explorers

I was not on a walk trail/track on Mount Augustus or any other major land form anywhere here in the remote parts of Western Australia, but the end nearly came in the blink of an eye.

This all sounds rather dramatic, but what happened was utterly spectacular and simply hard to believe at the time.

I most often have the dash cam rolling when travelling the black top, but the local and regional scene is as mind destroying as the first nanosecond of a Rio Tinto's public apology for obliterating the Archeologically significant Juukan Gorge caves which had a very significant and genuine timeline of 46000 years of Indigenous persons occupation ~ sadly the dash cam was sleeping.

Saturday's weather was an absolute shocker, strong gusty winds reaching 15 knots though temperatures were quite low, it was a sunny day for the most part, I know it was sunny because I could see the sun now and then through the wind driven dust of mining, so it was just nice to get the hell out of town and simply roost up somewhere on a shale bank in the watercourse of the mighty Fortescue River, not a big day out and not a big deal, just stay away from the widow maker River Gums, just the wife and myself.

Some five hours after roosting up on the shale bank and collecting a few geological specimens, we headed back to town, just 8 kilometres away, then in the absolute blink of the eyes we nearly could have become another statistic of the Great Northern Highway via Newman W A.

Had the big brown, hit the proverbial fan and all the grizzly aftermath been swept away, it would have possibly been my fault for being there at the time or just bad luck ~ something along those lines.

As I mentioned previously, it was a super windy day, on a very busy section of highway as we were going past an 'official' disassembly area where triple trailer road trains are de-trailered so they can access the bowels of industry in and around town, this crap goes on 24/7, which means the disassembly area is too small and the road train trailers are parked up on the sides of the main highway tar seal.

So as we are in the process of entering the left exit lane into town, when a full sheet of plywood gets lifted off an abandoned trailer and launches at high speed into the left rear corner of my Cruiser, luck has it there's only scuff marks on the panel work as the rear wheel and left rear spare on the carrier took the full impact.

These sheets of ply are in the order of 2.4mx1.2mx10mil, so they are a fair projectile.

A vehicle coming head on had the driver 'blessing' himself in some religious ritual thing, so called spiritual people do ~ I just swore in seven different languages, then I got told off for my linguistic skills.

So you just don't know when the grim reaper will come for you, maybe next time eh!

Safe travels : Joe


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Reply By: RMD - Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 at 16:42

Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 at 16:42
More like dodging a tree if it was plywood. So, where is the picture of the killer ply? and the cruiser damage? Extremely well educated with 7 different languages and the profanities of each one. Well done!

PS, a few years back a B double tried to avoid a train from Kerang Vic, as he turned off road in an attempt to avoid the train, the load of laminex ply veneer board scythed it's way through the carriage sides and killed passengers. There was tons of plysheets inside the train.
AnswerID: 633474

Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 at 21:15

Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 at 21:15
G'day RMD

I don't know the fate of the sheet of ply, my guess it's now just more garbage that adorns the highway sides close to town.

As mentioned in my initial post the spare and the left road tyre took the impact, but I am happy to upload an image of the scuff mark on the Cruiser, if it's an important thing to validate the story.

My language skills are something I am quietly proud of, as I was raised by caring parents who saw the value in mastering more than one language, as at the time their very own circumstances in life had them learning the English language just to become Australian citizens, this was all back some 74 years ago, I speak, read and write in three languages other than English, I am a proud Australian born and bred, so knowing and using 'profanities' in another language ( seven in fact ) is a real advantage ~ except when the Boss is in close proximity.

RMD no malice is intended.

Safe travels : Joe


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FollowupID: 910526

Reply By: Mick O - Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 at 21:05

Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 at 21:05
We got the proverbial scared out of us on the Rippon Hills Road heading to Rudall late one afternoon. A big B-triple side dumper scorched past us leaving a softball sized chunk of Manganese or similar mineral barreling in through my windscreen. The meteorite hit low thank god and was stopped by the dashboard. Thirty cm either way or five cm higher and it could have been a lot uglier result.

If you've been driving for nearly 40 years (or longer) and being behind the wheel is a large part of your job, the near misses stack up over time. It's a matter of beating the odds (which is why I stay out of the casino :-)

Good to see you're still beating the odds mate.

Cheers.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 at 21:55

Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 at 21:55
G'day Mick O

Your Ripon Hills road window targeting incident is not uncommon, though your manganese projectile could have been a keeper as a mineral specimen, bloody shame about the windscreen though.

Linfox, seems to be my nemesis with a score of four windscreens taken out by rocks thrown up from an on coming road train, I tend to cringe and wait for the bang when I see a Linfox semi coming head on.

There's just no escaping heavy haulage trucking seeing all things mining associated is hauled by road trains, it's just a shame the highway system wasn't designed for what is being hauled by road today.

Hopefully the odds stay in my favour for a while to come, I trust this won't be taken as a social catch up, but how are you going, considering the Covid-19 situation as it is in the Eastern States?

Safe travels : Joe

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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 at 21:53

Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 at 21:53
Years ago, in Melbourne, I was behind and to one side of a tipper, overloaded with uncovered building rubbish, doing about 80k. As we went around a corner it dropped a house brick that fortunately just missed me and broke up on the road behind.

A few months later I was transferred to Perth. Again I was on a motorbike, this time behind a ute loaded with building materials. Suddenly a sheet of corrugated iron lifted off the ute, went to one side and over me and fell on the road behind.

Fate tried a third time to get me on my motorbike, this time at night on a divided road. I was doing about 100k and this drunk FW came at me on the wrong side, no lights, weaving all over the place. We missed, but I turned around, caught up with him. His girlfriend (unlicenced) had convinced him to stop. He was paralytic, too paralytic to speak, let alone argue. I took his keys and threw them into the bush. That felt good to an 18yo young bloke at the time. Still does. I hope they had an enjoyable night.

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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Monday, Sep 21, 2020 at 12:41

Monday, Sep 21, 2020 at 12:41
Incidents like that shake you up, & talking (or posting) about it is a good way to come to terms, to understand that luck played a part & to rationalise it in a way which allows you to keep on living, rather than staying home wrapped in cotton wool for the rest of your life!

Glad you are OK.
See 'My Profile' (below) for link to our Aussie travel blog, now in it's 4th year

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AnswerID: 633487

Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Monday, Sep 21, 2020 at 16:15

Monday, Sep 21, 2020 at 16:15
Howdy

Hope this link works as I'm not overly techo with this sort of stuff

Cheers
Gazz


https://www.dropbox.com/s/1k1x67srxnjfawh/Driving%20behind%20trucks1.mp4?dl=0
AnswerID: 633491

Reply By: old mate - Monday, Sep 21, 2020 at 17:46

Monday, Sep 21, 2020 at 17:46
Going with the topic of projectiles going through windscreens:

i work for an oil and gas company in outback QLD. Most of the bitumen roads in our area are single lane bitumen going to popular outback tourist destinations. when I'm driving along said single lane bitumen road and see on coming traffic - I slow down, left indicator on and pull off the bitumen and come completely to a stop to allow vehicle(s) especially those who are towing to have ALL the bitumen.

Theory is (and a simple one at that). I get off the bitumen for you, you stay on the bitumen and neither of us are throwing rocks at each other. Simple, but some people just dont get the obvious.

The amount of times that people keep driving at 100km/hr and then at the last minute drop two wheels onto the dirt shoulder, remembering I have pulled off completely and stopped to give them the bitumen, is staggering. Throwing up rocks and stones. Having a driver side window smashed became some stupid idiot can t slow down and have to drop 2 wheels in the dirt when absolutely unnecessary is just lunacy. the amount my company have to fork out for windscreens because of the idiots is a lot. I wonder how these clowns would react if it happened to them.
AnswerID: 633492

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Sep 21, 2020 at 20:45

Monday, Sep 21, 2020 at 20:45
You don't have to have common sense and roadcraft to be able to drive on our roads, Old Mate, just a licence.
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