A 90-year-old Dungog woman is recovering from surgery at John Hunter Hospital after a fall at Westfield Kotara left her with two broken shoulders.
Gloria Reeves was leaving the shopping centre about midday on Friday when she stepped out of the way of an approaching pedestrian as she walked out into the car park.
“There was a man coming up the ramp with two walking sticks, so my mother did the courteous thing and stepped aside for him to pass, and she overbalanced on the ledge,” her son, Wayne Reeves, told the Newcastle Herald.
“We were walking out of the shopping centre near where Bon Oz Cafe used to be.
“That pathway has moved slightly during the construction.
“It is also dimly lit in that area.
“My mother stumbled over the edge and fell flat on her face on the concrete, off the side of the ramp, and broke both of her shoulders.”
Mr Reeves said there were no barricades there at the time.
“They put the barricades up after the accident.
“If the barricades they have there now were there before, this wouldn’t have happened.
“This was just an accident waiting to happen.”
Mr Reeves said his mother had a “complete reconstruction” of one shoulder on Tuesday, and may have to have the same procedure done on the second.
“My only concern at the time of the accident was my mother,” he said.
“She was a mess.
“She couldn’t move her arms. The ambulance came. Security took photos.
“Those orange poles that sometimes have ropes between them – that’s all they had, but without the ropes.”
Mr Reeves said he had contacted a lawyer.
A Westfield Kotara spokesperson said the safety of customers was of paramount importance.
“The Westfield Kotara centre management team attended to the customer immediately after the incident and have been in contact with her and her family to check on her wellbeing and to discuss the incident further,” she said.
“We have since improved the signage and barriers in this area.”
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