Rider over the edge

Rider over the edge

A New South Wales man is lucky to be alive after coming off his motorcycle and falling 12 metres down an embankment, near Omeo, last Friday morning.

The man had been riding with five other motorcyclists, when he failed to negotiate a left hand bend at Anglers Rest, about 28 kilometres north of Omeo, just after 11.30am.

Police believe the man’s rear brakes seized and he was unable to take the bend, sending him hurtling over the embankment. He sustained broken ribs and a broken left lower leg and is still requiring treatment in the Latrobe Valley Hospital.

Police say extracting the man from down the embankment proved a challenge with a pulley system being used to haul the stretcher to the roadside.

Resources were brought in from Mt Beauty and worked in pouring rain and hail for several hours to retrieve the man.

The motorcyclists were on their way to Bright for the weekend.

Police said the riders continued on their journey while the rider who came to grief was transported by ambulance to Traralgon.

East Gippsland Highway Patrol has, in recent times, focused its attention on reducing the number of accidents by motorcyclists on High Country roads.

Last year, a series of cameras were set up on the Great Alpine Road around Omeo to identify motorcyclist behavior, which police believe contributes to accidents on the windy and unforgiving road.

The Highway Patrol team last week received an award for its road safety initiative by Regional Roads Victoria.

State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has also been vocal about improving safety on the Great Alpine Road, which is responsible for many accidents, particularly between Bruthen and Swifts Creek.

Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, has also been concerned. He has now secured $5 million in Federal Government funding to match a State Government allocation to improve safety.

Works to widen the Great Alpine Road by 500 metres at Bullocky Creek and 400 metres between Hell’s Gate and Namestone Point will commence this week.

Those works will also involve reducing bends and improving drivers’ sight distance.

VicRoads says drivers should expect changed traffic conditions with the road reduced to one lane for a 500 metre stretch in both directions.

A reduced speed limit of 40km/h is also in place until the works are completed.

Drivers are advised to plan ahead and allow an extra five minutes to reach their destination.

Similar works at Namestone Point will immediately follow these works.

Both projects are expected to be completed by early 2020.

PICTURED: Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, has secured $5 million in funding to improve safety along the Great Alpine Road, at Bullocky Creek and Namestone Point. Works have started this week.