The chequered history of Fairy Meadow’s fatal crash site

Danger area: In 2006 a truck ran through the Princes Highway-Mt Ousley roundabout and crashed into the car park. Picture: Orlando Chiodo
Danger area: In 2006 a truck ran through the Princes Highway-Mt Ousley roundabout and crashed into the car park. Picture: Orlando Chiodo

Wednesday night’s fatal car crash at a Fairy Meadow roundabout was far from the first accident at that spot.

Nineteen-year-old Hisham Kartoumeh died late on Wednesday night when his car left the road at the roundabout at the intersection of the Princes Highway and Mt Ousley Road and crashed into signage at the BP petrol station.

Police investigations are continuing so it is not clear what part, if any, the roundabout played in the accident.

But that roundabout has a chequered history.

The intersection sees a lot of traffic, from those driving in or out of the city to motorists entering or leaving one of nearby fast food restaurants.

And it also sees a lot of smaller accidents, some perhaps caused bu the sudden appearance of a right-turn lane halfway through the roundabout for those heading north.

On December 14 2006, a runaway truck overloaded with steel building material sped down Mt Ousley Road and across the roundabout.

Fifteen people were rushed to hospital after the crash, including four children who were among a group from a day care centre heading to a Wiggles concert at WIN Entertainment Centre.

Nineteen-year-old Hisham Kartoumeh (inset) died in a single-vehicle car accident at Fairy Meadow on Wednesday night. Main picture: Angela Thompson

Nineteen-year-old Hisham Kartoumeh (inset) died in a single-vehicle car accident at Fairy Meadow on Wednesday night. Main picture: Angela Thompson

In April 2010, two Keira High School students were treated for minor injuries after the bus they were travelling in collided with a car at the roundabout.

Four years later in May 2014, a prime mover carrying a mobile crane lost control, hit the roundabout and overturned.

The driver was trapped behind the wheel for 40 minutes before being freed and taken to Wollongong Hospital with a broken leg.

A Roads and Maritime Services spokesman said the roundabout was “built to the appropriate standard”.

“The Fairy Meadow roundabout is also well signposted with a 60km/h speed limit,” he said.

The spokesman said in the five-year period 2013-17 there were three casualty crashes and seven tow-away crashes recorded as occurring at or within 10 metres of the roundabout at Mt Ousley Rd, Fairy Meadow.

While he declined to state whether traffic lights had ever been considered for the intersection, the spokesman said RMS would monitor the location and make changes as required.

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