Drivers furious after road ‘crater’ damages cars at Laang

Sue Pigdon's car was one of several damaged by a pothole on the Warrnambool-Cobden Road on Saturday.  Picture: VICKY HUGHSON

Sue Pigdon's car was one of several damaged by a pothole on the Warrnambool-Cobden Road on Saturday. Picture: VICKY HUGHSON

ANGRY drivers have slammed VicRoads after a single pothole caused thousands of dollars damage to their vehicles.

At least a dozen cars fell victim to the 30-centimetre-deep hole on the Warrnambool-Cobden Road at Laang on Saturday.

In one case, a young learner- driver struggled to keep control of his vehicle after he struck the pothole, blowing two tyres and severely damaging both rims.

Motorists have described how, in the space of just one hour, four vehicles were damaged and were lined up beside the road awaiting repair or tow trucks.

Maria Riordan was supervising her son Daniel when he struck the “massive pothole” just east of the Laang Speedway.

Mrs Riordan said the 16-year-old “thankfully managed to control the car safely until we could get off the road”.

“While we were waiting for the RACV, three others damaged their cars. One also did two rims. This is absolutely unacceptable.

“Our car was undriveable and had to be towed back to Warrnambool.”

Another driver who came to grief was Allansford’s Sue Pigdon, who damaged two tyres and rims on the passenger side of her car.

“I’ve never seen a pothole that big,” Mrs Pigdon said yesterday.

“I got such a fright when I hit it. It was lucky that a motorbike did not hit it or it would have been the end of the rider.”

She said the growing damage toll prompted a passing policeman to park near the pothole with his hazard lights on to warn motorists.

Mrs Riordan said she understood the policeman rang Moyne Shire, which sent a crew to repair the pothole while she waited for a tow truck.

Mrs Pigdon said the pothole was circled in grey paint with an arrow pointing towards it and she was annoyed it had not been fixed earlier. “Someone knew it was there,” she said. 

Mrs Pigdon, who is the coach of Nirranda’s B grade netball team, missed all but the last five seconds of Saturday’s game because of the accident.

The pothole also damaged a rim on a young man’s car and an older couple had a flat tyre on their vehicle.

Mrs Riordan, who was heading to Cobden with her son for the South Rovers versus Nirranda game, was told that nine people who attended the game had flat tyres on their vehicles on the Warrnambool-Cobden Road that day. 

The RACV serviceman also told her that two men, one after another, had their vehicles damaged on the road. 

“Our cars are expected to be roadworthy. Why then can’t we expect VicRoads to keep our roads in a safe condition?” Mrs Riordan asked.

“It could have been much worse than what it was and I don’t think that my family should be out of pocket because of the condition of their roads especially as the pothole has been there for a few weeks as I was told by locals.

“This is the second time our vehicle has been damaged because of potholes in 12 months.”

She is considering seeking compensation from VicRoads for the damage to the family’s car.

According to VicRoads, the owner of a vehicle that has been damaged due to the condition of a road may be entitled to compensation if the damage is valued at more than $1330.

People wanting to report hazards on arterial roads can call the roads authority on 13 11 70.

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