Monday, 7 November 2011

Coastal crash - more sloppy reporting

The story from Channel 103 radio -

"Three teenagers are being treated in hospital after the car they were in plunged over a cliff in St Martin.

It went over the side of the road between Anne Port and Archirondel just before midnight.

It came to rest upside down against a tree - which stopped it rolling over the sea wall onto the rocks below.

Paramedics and firefighters attended, and two boys aged 19 and 17, and a 15 year old girl were taken to A&E.

The driver suffered a suspected broken wrist but the two passengers are believed to have suffered more serious injuries, although Police have told us they're not critical.

Watch Commander Chris Love said. "These 3 youths have been involved in a very serious incident. However, it would have been a lot worse had their vehicle rolled from its final resting place onto the rocks below."

"Had that been the case specialised rescue equipment and extra resources would have been called for. Emergency crews would have been faced with a more difficult and prolonged extrication, increasing the risk of injuries already sustained"

BBC Jersey also says "between Archirondel and Anne Port".

Only Channel TV correctly reported "near Archirondel".

If you're a radio listener you'd think it had happened near the BBQ area on the headland near La Crete quarry. The only recent damage to the roadside banks that I can see is actually well before that area.

It looks like, heading from St.Catherine's towards Gorey, the driver took this bend (by the old Les Arches) too fast, over-corrected, and failed to straighten up quickly enough to stay on the road.

It's actually on a straight, just after the left-hander, and not where previous accidents have happened at the headland farther on, or just past Jeffrey's Leap on the other side of Anne Port!

On some news website comments pages people are criticising the lack of barriers here, and it does appear to be in the same place (from the same direction) as another from 2010 (BBC).

All in all I'm left with the sour taste of sloppy journalism again - there was no mention of the direction in which they were travelling, or the precise location. And it's sensationalism again too, accidents happen all over the island, but just because it's on a coastal road and NEARLY ended up in greater fall onto rocks, this somehow seems more spectacular and may be more likely to lead to knee-jerk over-reaction.

The fact that several accidents in this region in recent years have all been survived without death shows how much safer it is to crash here compared to hitting walls and large trees at the roadside elsewhere!

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