AN Orange family who lost their son to a car accident have spoken out on the second anniversary of his death, urging drivers to be wary of driver fatigue.
Todd Sligar, 23, Mitchell Horroway, 21, and Ethan Herslet, 17, were returning from a pig hunting trip on March 23, 2016 when the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
The black utility hit a tree 10 kilometres from Trangie, killing all three men.
Mark and Michelle Sligar spoke of a son who “loved his family, loved life, loved the outdoors, loved pigging”.
Mrs Sligar said it had been especially hard for Todd’s son and daughter, aged seven and six, who would would grow up without their father.
“[His daughter says] you said dad has wings now Nana, why can’t he pick me up?’,” she said.
Mr Sligar said it had been a long, hard battle.
“And it doesn’t get any easier, especially the way that they went,” he said.
“And being a truck driver myself, I know if you feel tired, just pull up.”
Mrs Sligar advised drivers to “be a champ and stop for a camp”.
“Stop and let your body have a rest because you know what? Being five minutes late is nothing,” she said.
“Having a knock on the door from police to say your son has been killed in a fatigue-related incident, you can never go back.”
She believed her son would be proud of the efforts his family was making on his behalf, and the way the community .
“This is probably what he would have needed, a stop revive point, you don’t know,” she said.
Member for Orange Phil Donato and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers councillors Sam Romano and Mario Previtera reignited their push for an expanded driver reviver site between Redmond Place and Dairy Creek Road – the councillors successfully moved for the facility in November and council engineers are working on costs.
There is already a designated site on Redmond Place for light and heavy vehicles with undercover tables, barbecue facilities and a single toilet, but Cr Romano said he was looking for a facility similar to Hector Park in Bathurst.
Hector Park is not a designated driver reviver site, but has wider parklands, larger toilets and a playground with a drive-in arrangement off the Mitchell Highway.
“Coffee doesn’t cut it with a lot of people,” he said.
He also said many people mistook the old dairy for a toilet and pulled off the road before they reached the designated site.
Mr Donato said driver fatigue was a serious issue for regional and rural roads and hoped some of the money from the Snowy Hydro sale would be available.
“It’s something that would encourage people to have a break, have a rest stretch their legs, the kids can have a bit of a play perhaps,” he said.
“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t driven fatigued in the past, I think we all have if we’re honest with ourselves, and sometimes just for the grace of God I suppose you don’t get involved in a serious accident.”
Toll Driver Reviver advises drivers to get a good night’s rest before a long drive, plan to be flexible and allow for regular rest breaks, keep children busy with activities and games, don’t be distracted and listen to your body.