TRAGIC: The scene of Cowper bus crash that many from the Clarence Valley will never forget.
TRAGIC: The scene of Cowper bus crash that many from the Clarence Valley will never forget. The Daily Examiner Archives

Poignant moments captured in Cowper crash podcast

ALMOST three decades have passed since former NSW Coroner Kevin Waller recommended that the "Pacific goat track" become a dual carriageway.

This recommendation came shortly after two devastating head-on collisions on the highway at Cowper and Clybucca, resulting in the combined deaths of 56 people.

For the past several months, myself, Kathryn Lewis and Lesley Apps have helped bring to light the true story of the Cowper bus tragedy before it is lost forever.

To preserve the memory of those involved, The Daily Examiner has produced a new podcast, Cowper, that investigates what happened on that day and the many issues exposed in its wake.

When I first started this project, I wasn't sure it would get off the ground. After all, it's a tragic story that reduces people to tears, and here I was, about to rip open that wound once again.

As such, every phone call to someone connected to the tragedy was filled with nerves. At one stage, a colleague made the call for me after much anguish over how that person might react. Fortunately, they were more than happy to share their experience.

Amazingly, more than two dozen people from all over Australia and overseas have come forward to share their experience of that awful day and to reveal intimate moments of humanity in the face of horror.

Interestingly, the majority of those we spoke with had never been interviewed before: from a young Scottish doctor on call that morning to a Salvation Army chaplain who shared a beautiful moment with a grieving mother. Each story bears a poignant tale which this podcast captures to honour the memories and experiences of everyone involved.

Episode one in the Cowper series will be released on October 20, marking 30 years since the tragedy.


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