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Plains Producer, Wednesday February 27, 2013
Man dies at 'crash corner'
Six weeks to
High school damaged
SALLY Baker is carried from the beach by friends. "They were really good in
thinking quickly and not just dragging mde out of the water," said Sally.
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CLAWING towards the surface and
desperate for air, Sally Baker thought she
was going to die.
With both her legs and left arm temporar-
ily paralysed, she could have been forgiven
for thinking all was lost.
After shrugging off those thoughts, Sally
channelled all her energy into fghting her
way to salvation, along with a prayer or two,
and eventually burst through the water and
gasped in the salty sea air.
The former Nantawarra girl and daughter
of Alan and Jenny Baker, had been enjoy-
ing a Christian retreat on February 9 with
several friends, including her brother, Sam,
and Balaklava lad, Tom Forrest.
The group had ventured to Fisheries Bay,
a popular surfng spot on Eyre Peninsula,
about 20km south of Port Lincoln.
As a few in the group played cricket on
the beach, Sally went for a swim with a
handful of friends.
"We were only up to our shoulders in the
water, trying to bodysurf waves back into the
shore," she said.
"I wasn't having much luck but when I
fnally caught a wave, it took me nearly all
the way back in.
"I soon found myself in this vortex within
the wave and it smashed my head on the
It was then Sally described feeling a snap
in her back.
"I lost feeling to both legs and my right
arm as I was being dragged under the water,
I couldn't get to the top," she said.
Having taught Vacswim at Balaklava
and Snowtown, Sally used her right arm to
make the help signal she had drummed into
hundreds of her students, once she fnally
reached the surface. She was also able to
call for help, which soon arrived in the
Her friends summed up the situation well.
"They were really good in thinking
quickly and not just dragging me out of the
water but taking the correct spinal precau-
tions," Sally said. "I told them straight away
to call an ambulance."
As a registered nurse working at Royal
Adelaide Hospital, Sally lay on a surfboard
waiting for the ambulance with worst-case
scenarios charging through her brain.
"My mind was thinking about all the
things I was about to face and trying to test
my own neurological responses," she said.
"I was suffering a very intense pain in
my back, it felt like I was lying on a pole."
Breathing was also a struggle, any
increase in panic almost causing Sally to
After about half an hour, the ambulance
arrived, along with the anisthetic meth-
oxyfurane (otherwise known as the green
whistle) and she was conveyed from the
beach happily chanting delirious support to
the people carrying her up the beach.
Soon after the numbness faded and move-
ment returned to her limbs, Sally was fown
from Port Lincoln Hospital to the RAH (her
workplace) and diagnosed with four thoracic
crush fractures in her spine.
While suffering nausea, strong pain and
general discomfort, the injury had no impact
on her spinal cord.
Sally believes it will take about six weeks
before she will make a full recovery.
In the meantime, there will be plenty of
extended bed rest.
If anything, Sally came away from a
traumatic experience with several positives
and valuable lessons.
"Always swim with other people, don't try
something like that by yourself," she advised.
The response from her family and friends,
both at the time and during her recovery, has
"There was a whole group of people
praying for me straight away, I think that's
the best medicine ever," Sally said.
"If I was in any doubt of how much loved
I was, that is well and truly gone now."
"I am so grateful for the support of the
community, not only for myself, but also
for my family.
"I have received widespread support from
many through phone calls, e-mails, cards
She reserved special thanks for her
younger brother, Sam.
"Sam was an absolute champion," she
said. "He stayed with me the whole time I
was in hospital and I was so surprised to fnd
my younger brother was this amazing guy.
"He was so calm throughout, which is
exactly what you need in that situation and
he's just a champion in my mind."
Sally's narrow escape
DURING a routine traffc stop of an unregistered
motor vehicle last Saturday, Gawler police found two
men in possession of counterfeit $50 notes.
Barossa CIB attended the home of one of the men
and seized further $50 notes, a laptop, a computer and
other related items regarding counterfeit production.
Further enquiries were made and found that some of
the counterfeit notes had been passed in the Enfeld and
Adelaide area. Both men were reported for unlawful
possession, uttering counterfeit money and production
of counterfeit money.
BALAKLAVA High School was targeted by van-
dals on Monday night, with several instances of graffti
and two break-ins reported to police.
School principal, Mark Healy, said both the gym
and canteen were broken into, with the school still to
compile an inventory of what was stolen.
He said an alarm was triggered but the culprits had
fed the scene, with the full extent of the graffti only
found in the morning.
Crime Scene Investigators were at the school yes-
terday. Anyone with information regarding the breaks
and graffti is encouraged to contact local police.
A MAN died at the
intersection of Augusta
and Copper Coast High-
ways, just north of Port
Wakefeld at the intersec-
tion infamously known
as "crash corner."
Just before 6pm on
20, a man riding a mo-
torcycle collided with a
B-double prime mover
near the Copper Coast
The motorcyclist, 78,
from Smithfeld Plains,
died as a result of injuries
sustained in the crash.
Major Crash investi-
His death took the
state's road toll to 15 as
compared to 11 for the
same time last year.
• BETWEEN Febru-
ary 6 and 20, unknown
persons stole two bat-
teries from a bulldozer
on Port Wakefeld Road,
Counterfeit notes found
• TWO wheels were
stolen from a trailer
on Horrocks Highway,
Roseworthy, on Friday,
• UNKNOWN per-
sons set a motor vehicle
alight on Cemetery road,
Dublin, on Monday, Feb-
ruary 25. The vehicle was
• ON Wednesday,
February 20, a female
youth from Lewiston
was reported for a range
of driving offences, in-
cluding unregistered and
uninsured vehicle, unas-
signed plates, failure to
produce a P licence, dis-
play P plates and driving
a vehicle without alcohol
interlock being fitted
by Gawler police. The
vehicle was impounded
for 28 days.
• ON Wednesday,
February 20, a 42-year-
old Lewiston man was
reported for assault.
• ON Friday, February
22, a male attending a
party on Dawkins Road,
Lewiston, was punched
in the mouth by a person
known to him.
• A 38-year-old man
was reported for driving
with a prescribed drug
in his oral fuid, which
occurred on Friday,
February 22. It is alleged
he was driving while
under the infuence of
The man's vehicle
will be impounded pend-
ing the outcome of the
drug testing. He will
receive a summons to
appear in Kadina Mag-
• A 60-year-old man
from Kersbrook was
reported for driving
without due care by
Port Wakefeld police
on Wednesday, Febru-
This was as a result
of follow-up enquiries
resulting from a seri-
ous injury crash, which
occurred on August 6
last year on the Copper
Coast highway near Port
The man will be sum-
moned to appear in court.
• A 20-year-old wom-
an from Balaklava was
reported by Port Wake-
feld police for driving
while suspended, which
occurred on Saturday,
It is alleged she was
driving while her licence
was suspended from a
previous driving offence.
Her vehicle was im-
pounded for 28 days.
She will appear in
the Kadina Magistrates
• A 30-year-old man
from Snowtown was
reported by Balaklava
Police for failing to
comply with a condition
of his bail agreement,
which occurred on Fri-
day, February 22.
It is alleged that he
failed to comply with his
curfew. He will receive
a summons to appear in
Clare Magistrates Court.
No clues to skeleton ID
MAJOR Crime detectives continue to investigate
the discovery of bones in a shallow grave at Long
Plains on Friday, January 25. Detective Inspector Mark
Trenwith, from Major Crime, said the remains were
still undergoing forensic examination. Detectives are
probing long-term missing person reports and historic
unsolved homicides to try to discover an identity.
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