A single-car accident on October 28 in the Wollongong suburb of Unanderra has claimed the life of an elderly driver.
A white sedan of unknown make was found upside-down in a creek bed by witnesses who called police – with officers arriving shortly after 10:30 to find the sole occupant dead at the scene.
Fire Rescue and Ambulance officers then began removing the deceased from the wrecked vehicle, taking the body of the female driver – believed to be in her 70s – to a nearby medical facility.
Police officers from the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command then set up a crime scene cordon, with specialist crash forensics teams investigating the scene to gain a better understanding of the incidents leading up to the crash.
Inspector Ron Davis said initial witness reports indicate the woman was driving in a southerly direction on Tallegalla Street before the accident, which may have been a result of a heart attack.
Police believe the elderly driver lost control of her car during the onset of the medical condition – the vehicle then left the road and slid down an embankment before coming to rest on its roof on the south bank of the watercourse.
While no other parties were injured in the crash, a report is being prepared for submission to the coroner's office.
The onset of a sudden illness whilst in control of a vehicle can have devastating results – with the potential for injury and property damage increasing as the driver loses their facility to respond to road conditions.
Because of this, the Motor Accidents Authority (MAA) has made it clear that in New South Wales, the victims of these kinds of incidents are able to apply for car accident compensation.
Examples given for this kind of blameless accidents include unexplained vehicle failure, unavoidable collisions with animals or wildlife that appears on the road and the sudden onset of an illness.
Road users who are injured as a result of this type of crash can apply for payments to be made to ease the cost of medical treatments and rehabilitation expenses incurred.
If a close relative is fatally injured in a blameless accident, they may also be eligible to make a claim through the MAA.
However there are a number of regulations that can restrict access to payments according to the degree of injury and the nature of the collision itself.
An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to provide sound legal advice to claimants before an application is lodged.