Another Sea Cliff-hanger

DEJA VU: Ross Taylor at the scene of the Sea Cliff Bridge crash. Picture: Sylvia Liber

DEJA VU: Ross Taylor at the scene of the Sea Cliff Bridge crash. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Ron Taylor’s brush with death after his car plunged off what is now the Sea Cliff Bridge escaped without much fanfare back in 1952.

But memories of the incident came crashing back for his son Ross Taylor on the weekend.

Mr Taylor had just read the Mercury’s story on the two teenagers who somehow miraculously survived after their car plunged off the Sea Cliff Bridge.

The crash made national news across the weekend, with police indicating speed was a factor in the crash, which involved the Toyota Hilux utility crashing through two barriers, rolling down the cliff and stopping just short of falling in the ocean.

Speed wasn’t a factor when Mr Taylor wrote off his ‘’pride and joy’’ 1937 Chevrolet but like the teenagers on Saturday, the Coalcliff resident sustained only minor injuries and scrambled to safety up the cliff face before walking about a kilometre to his home.

Mangled: The smashed-up ute stops dangerously close to falling into the ocean. Picture: Georgia Matts

Mangled: The smashed-up ute stops dangerously close to falling into the ocean. Picture: Georgia Matts

’’After reading the story and without knowing exactly where it happened, I reckon I knew where it happened because my father did exactly the same thing back in 1952 with his vehicle,’’ Mr Taylor said.

The Thirroul resident actually wrote about the crash in his self-published book Accidental Humour – The Funniest Insurance Stories from the last 50 years.

The book tells of Mr Taylor’s ‘’early introduction and consequential life into the ‘’comic world of insurance, firstly as a claims manager and then a loss adjuster.

‘’In the book’s introduction I wrote about the crash and how dad survived it,’’ the 72-year-old said.

‘’The reason I chose to tell the story is because it was to be my first brush with insurance.’’

SEA CLIFF BRIDGE: This picture shows how close the car came to falling in the ocean. Picture: Courtesy of Paul Gunther

SEA CLIFF BRIDGE: This picture shows how close the car came to falling in the ocean. Picture: Courtesy of Paul Gunther

Like the November 26 crash, Mr Taylor’s father was travelling north on Lawrence Hargrave Drive when he lost control forcing the car to veer across the road and go straight through the non-existent fence and plunge down a 100 metre cliff.

‘’Just as the car was hitting the last bit of bush before the freefall, the driver’s door swung open and he rolled out into the lantana bush perched on the cliff’s edge,’’ Mr Taylor said.

‘’He stayed clinging to that bush until he regained his composure. Battered and bruised he made his way back onto the roadway and managed to walk the kilometre or so home.

‘’The next day we went to see the car, which was completely crushed.’’

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