Damage bill grows as more pothole victims emerge

Desiree Taljaard's wheel rim was cracked right around the middle after she hit a pothole on the Cobden-Warrnambool Road on Friday morning.
Desiree Taljaard's wheel rim was cracked right around the middle after she hit a pothole on the Cobden-Warrnambool Road on Friday morning.

MORE than $2000 damage has been done to a car which fell foul of a massive pothole on the Cobden-Warrnambool Road last Friday morning. 

In the worst case reported so far, the hatchback’s wheel rim was cracked around its centre, splitting it in two, and its suspension system damaged.

Other drivers reported damaged rims and blown tyres earlier this week after hitting the pothole between Friday morning and Saturday afternoon. It comes as VicRoads confirmed it was made aware of the pothole along the popular route on Friday afternoon and made arrangements to have it repaired on Saturday morning. 

Warrnambool woman Desiree Taljaard said she was driving to work about 7am on Friday when she hit the pothole in wet, windy and dark conditions. 

She said her Kia Rio “dug into” the road after hitting the hole which she couldn’t see because of the time of day and its location under the tree canopy. 

“I managed to get my car off the road and out of danger before having to walk a couple of kilometres to get mobile reception to call my husband,” she said. 

“When we got the wheel off we saw the rim was completely split in half and the back rim was dented. 

“Everyone I have shown the photo to can’t believe the damage. It was pretty terrifying.

“We pay huge amounts for rego and other taxes every year and this is the kind of roads we get to drive on.”

Mrs Taljaard said there was an issue with the car’s suspension system and her mechanic estimated the total cost of repair would be over $2000. 

Another woman, Carolyn Onyett, said she and her husband also hit the pothole, while going to help a friend who had blown a tyre. 

“She’d hit the hole as well, and it blew out her tyre and dented her rim. We were going out to help her and we hit it as well,” she said. 

“It didn’t do any real damage to our car, but my friend’s car has a noise when she turns the corner now, so it looks like there is some other damage.”

More than 12 vehicles fell victim to the 30-centimetre deep hole, just east of the Laang Speedway, on Friday and Saturday.

VicRoads regional director William Tieppo said the authority recognised the community’s concerns about potholes and repairs were done as quickly as possible. “Over the winter months maintenance crews tem-porarily fix potholes using asphalt,” he said. “More permanent fixes are only able to be completed during summer when conditions are warmer and roads are dry.” 

Mr Tieppo said VicRoads would consider compensation on a case-by-case basis and an excess applied. 

He said claimants could fill out a notice of incident form on the VicRoads website. 


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