Fears for vehicle safety after evidence of poor maintenance emerges

GRATEFUL: Jackie Armstrong thanks the heavens after her camper van rolled three times on a hill.

GRATEFUL: Jackie Armstrong thanks the heavens after her camper van rolled three times on a hill.

A tourist who crashed a camper van at the Grampians last week discovered the last service of the rental vehicle was logged at 74,000 kilometres, but just under 270,000km now showed on the odometer. 

Jackie Armstrong was holidaying from Brisbane when she followed her GPS navigator’s directions, which took her into the centre of the national park on Thursday, March 9.

“I got lost right in the middle of the Grampians. I was following dirt tracks for hours without seeing any other cars,” she said.

I got lost right in the middle of the Grampians. I was following dirt tracks for hours without seeing any other cars. - Jackie Armstrong

Ms Armstrong said the back wheels on the camper van “just went” as she was driving towards Halls Gap. 

“I cannot explain what happened. I was not speeding, it was not a difficult track, it was just on a straight flat track with some loose gravel, and then the van started fishtailing,” she said.  

The van rolled three times on a hill smashing all the windows, but she escaped with minor cuts and bruises and a sore back. 

Ms Armstrong said she was “heartbroken” when she found out insurance could not cover her for the incident. 

“I didn’t read the fine print on my insurance documents, so I accept full responsibility for my actions," she said.

“The vehicle is being assessed. If it is written off it will be thousands.

“But I found the log book in the vehicle and I thought oh my god, the last logged service is at 74,000 kilometres. These are the facts.” 

Ms Armstrong said she now had doubts about the safety of the vehicle. 

”It is stated right there in the log book,” she said. 

Ms Armstrong said she was awaiting a response from the rental company. 

“We will just have to see what comes of that. The vehicle was towed yesterday so I will have some answers soon,” she said.

“At the moment the priority is to repair my body from the trauma and to get healthy again. 

“Today is the first day I feel mentally and physically ready, so that is a good start.”

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