News

Injured in path fall

by
May 16, 2018

Wounded and wanting answers: Bob Blackburn and Yvonne Blackburn.

For the third time in as many months, an elderly person has been injured after tripping on uneven concrete outside the Cobram post office.

Bob Blackburn, 80, was walking towards his mail box on Thursday, May 3, when he suddenly crashed to the pavement after stubbing his toe on the uneven surface.

After sleeping on his injuries, Mr Blackburn woke the next morning in significant pain. It was at that point his wife Yvonne decided to take him to Cobram Hospital where scans revealed he had cracked two ribs.

Although extremely uncomfortable, Mr Blackburn is more fortunate than Sylvia Thollar — whose injuries were documented in The Courier on March 28 after she too fell on the uneven pavement.

Mrs Thollar’s injuries included multiple fractures of her left arm, a broken right elbow and a broken nose.

Mrs Thollar’s injuries cost her a holiday to Bali which had already been booked for her grandson’s 21st birthday, while she was faced with weeks of painstaking rehabilitation after major surgery.

Mr Blackburn’s wife Yvonne said enough was enough.

‘‘What is it going to take to get this fixed before someone gets killed? That is three people now who have been seriously injured,’’ she said.

‘‘Surely it is in the best interests of the community that the area is fixed because it is extremely dangerous and is a heavy traffic zone where people walk.’’

After lodging an incident report with Moira Shire Council, Mrs Blackburn said she received a call from the shire which she described as very ‘‘blunt and non-descriptive’’.

She said she was told the section of footpath she had complained about was private property and it was essentially out of the shire’s control.

‘‘To me it seems like there is a lot of passing the buck going on — but someone needs to take responsibility.

‘‘We all pay our rates to the council so we can walk down the street without the fear of tripping over and hurting ourselves because the concrete is uneven,’’ she said.

Moira Shire’s infrastructure general manager Andrew Close issued the following statement in regards to the matter.

‘‘Moira Shire Council takes all reports of incidents on public land seriously and thoroughly investigates each one, especially those which result in injuries.

‘‘Sometimes incidents occur on land which appears to be public land but is in fact privately owned, and council’s ability to assist is limited.

‘‘While we try hard to ensure the safety of our community as best we can, unfortunately, despite these efforts, incidents can occur from time to time. Privacy considerations make it difficult for council to comment on specific cases,’’ he said.

Mrs Blackburn said her husband’s injury was not just physical.

‘‘The worst part is it has shattered Bob’s confidence to walk now,’’ Mrs Blackburn said.

‘‘Who’s to say the person who happens to fall over there next won’t be worse off than Bob?

‘‘That’s my greatest concern.’’

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