THE young woman killed after being struck by a truck that allegedly ran a red light at Caringbah, in Sydney’s south today, has been identified as a local woman from a close, tight-knit family.
Danielle McGrath, 26, originally from Illawong, was hit by a prime mover while crossing the road at The Kingsway, on her way to Caringbah Train Station.
Police have charged the truckie with dangerous driving, occasioning death and allege he went through a red light.
A friend said Ms McGrath attended Menai High School and was from an Illawong family but had moved to Caringbah with her partner.
The death has shaken her close-knit family, she is believed to be survived by her parents, two sisters and a brother.
In a horrific twist, her partner was only minutes away in his car when he heard of the accident, and rushed to the scene only to be confronted by the contents of her handbag scattered on the street and the body covered by a sheet.
An eyewitness said he saw the 59-year-old truck driver burst into tears at the scene, before being taken to Sutherland Hospital for mandatory blood and urine testing.
Residents have taken to social media to express anger that Ms McGrath’s body and belongings were left on the street (under a sheet) for three hours.
Police said they were called to the scene on Point Hacking Rd at 7.40am today, following reports of a crash involving a pedestrian and a truck.
“She is yet to be formally identified, but died at the scene, a police spokesman said.
It is understood the woman was walking north along Port Hacking Rd, towards Caringbah Train Station, and was struck while crossing The Kingsway at the traffic lights.
As she was making her way across, the prime mover has allegedly attempted to turn right from Port Hacking Rd onto The Kingsway, heading towards Cronulla.
The driver of the truck will face Sutherland Local Court on December 8, after being charged at Miranda Police Station with dangerous driving occasioning death.
This morning’s fatality brings the NSW road toll to 334 for 2016, which is 34 deaths more than at the same time last year.
This is the 61st pedestrian death this year, which is nine more than last year at this time.
A shop owner near the site of the accident said the victim’s partner, who had left home in his car after the 26-year-old walked to the station, had been caught in the traffic caused by the accident.
“He was stuck in the traffic and tried to call her mobile but when she didn’t answer he left his car and ran to the scene,” the shop owner said.
“It would have been horrible for him to see her lying there on the road, and I think he recognised it was her when he spotted her handbag lying on the road.”
WITNESSES SAY “NOTHING ANYONE COULD DO”
An onlooker said that the incident happened right in front of him and his work colleague this morning.
Alan Rojas said he was a passenger in a vehicle approaching the lights at The Kingsway, just moments after the incident.
“We were driving for work, heading out of Cronulla, and pulled up at the lights and it must have just happened,” the specialised delivery driver said.
“I ran to the woman’s aid, but there was nothing anyone could do. It must have been almost instantaneous.
“I saw the woman on the road, and no-one was helping, but when I got closer I realised there was nothing I could do.
“We’re on the road all the time with work, so we see lots of accidents and things, and we know CPR and first aid, but when I approached the body there was nothing to be done.
“I just looked at the driver, and shook my head.”
On social media, people who witnessed the accident and the scene afterwards expressed outrage that the woman’s body was left lying on the road covered with a sheet for more than three hours while police carried out preliminary investigations.
“I passed this incident this morning and it was distressing to see the woman’s body still lying on the ground with a sheet over it. I feel for her family and friends,” Kelly Michael said.
A transport driver, who wished to remain anonymous, said he passed the scene “several times this morning”.
“I went past at about 8am, and then again around 10am,” he said.
He said locals were shocked that the body was still on the road (covered by a sheet) about three hours after the accident.
“It’s inexcusable that the body was there so long, it just didn’t look right, and I feel for the family and for the deceased,” he said.
He said the woman’s handbag was also left on the road near her body for “far too long”.
“Her bag and things were scattered on the road and I think a lot of schoolchildren and elderly passing by would have been dismayed by this,” he said. “Lots of people are commenting about this.”
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