The West

New crash sickens Dunbars
A woman checks her car, which she said had been borrowed by someone before it ended up on the median strip outside the Dunbars'. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

The screech of car brakes, followed by a loud bang had Stacy Dunbar leaping out of bed early yesterday.

The sounds brought back sickening memories of the night in January last year when drunk-driver Melissa Ann Waters killed Mrs Dunbar's eight-month-old son Nate when she crashed her Toyota Hilux into his bedroom`.

"Obviously, it's a bit of a trigger to hear that sound again," Mrs Dunbar said. "It's not nice at all. It makes me feel sick."


This time her family was safe and she could not see over the back fence to what was happening on Hester Avenue in Merriwa.

She went back to bed and waited for, but thankfully never heard, the sirens that would have told her something was wrong.

Her neighbours heard the braking skid and then a bang about 3.20am - noises they also say haunt them since Nate's death.

Peter Googe, who runs the Facebook page Justice for Little Nate, posted yesterday that he ran outside to find a red car stuck on the median strip just metres from the Dunbars' back fence.

Mr Googe asked the driver if he was all right. He called police and then he and another neighbour tried to stop the man leaving.

Stacy and Nate Dunbar

The driver tried to get the car off the median strip but when that failed, he flagged down a passing taxi and fled.

The driver allegedly told Mr Googe he had been on his way to McDonald's when two hoon cars scared him and caused him to lose control.

Neither Mr Googe nor Mrs Dunbar heard any other cars in the minutes before the sedan hit the median strip.

"Thankfully, no one was hurt but it's all too much like Nate's night," Mr Googe said.

Mrs Dunbar had just finished feeding her baby daughter Eve when she heard the noise.

"I didn't realise how close it was to our house," she said.

A recent review into the crash that killed Nate recommended shrubs be planted on median strips to slow out-of-control cars but stopped short of calling for barriers outside the Dunbars' house.

A woman who owned the car collected it early yesterday and said it had been borrowed by an unknown man from a party she was at.

Police said yesterday there were no signs the car had caused any other damage, the driver had gone, there was no information to suggest he was injured and no further action was required.

The West Australian

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