A furious grandmother who had her car accidentally crushed by her local council has spoken out about her anguish after losing precious personal items.
Wendy Tucker, 61, left her 1997 Toyota Camry Conquest parked near her daughter’s Point Clare home on the NSW Central Coast for eight weeks during lockdown.
Despite the car being registered and parked legally, the Central Coast Council assumed it had been abandoned after a neighbour called complaining about the vehicle.
Following the complaint, the council towed the car and crushed it without attempting to contact Ms Tucker.
Camera IconWendy Tucker, 61, left her car parked near her daughter’s Point Clare home on the NSW Central Coast for eight weeks over lockdown. ACA / Channel 9 Credit: Channel 9
The 61-year-old grandmother told Channel 9’s A Current Affair she is “upset” over how heartless the council is being, failing to offer help and fix its mistake.
“I just thought the council would have been more forthcoming,” she said.
“It was my only car, and it had things in it – personal belongings, emotional things – you get attached to your vehicles regardless of how good or bad they are.”
When she realised her car was no longer near her daughter’s home Ms Tucker rang the local police and council worried her beloved car and all her belongings had been stolen.
Camera IconDespite the car being registered and parked legally, the Central Coast Council assumed it had been abandoned after a neighbour complained. ACA / Channel 9 Credit: Channel 9
It was only when she contacted the council that she was told it had been towed.
She was then told to wait for a letter in the mail that would detail how she could retrieve the vehicle.
The next day Ms Tucker was called by the council and told the car was “accidentally” crushed.
“I thought they were exaggerating but apparently it had been crushed completely,” she said.
Three months later, Ms Tucker is still waiting for compensation or an apology for the blunder.
This isn’t the first time Central Coast Council has been embroiled in drama, with multiple councillors resigning in 2020 after it went into administration.
Councillor Greg Best described Ms Tucker’s situation as a “perfect storm of incompetence”, saying “heads should roll” over the way she has been treated.
Camera IconCouncillor Greg Best described Ms Tucker’s situation as a “perfect storm of incompetence”, saying “heads should roll” over the way she has been treated. ACA / Channel 9 Credit: Channel 9
Council confirmed the car had been legally towed following complaints from neighbours, however it is their duty to contact the owner and give a warning before it is impounded.
In a statement, Council said “several” statements were received from nearby residents about the “abandoned” car.
“Following a two-week period from when the vehicle had a notification sticker affixed, and with no contact from the owner, a letter was sent to the owner to advise that the vehicle would be towed and destroyed in accordance with the NSW Impounding Act 1993,” the statement said.
“Council engaged a private local service provider to undertake removal and disposal of the car in accordance with legislation.”
Council said Ms Tucker’s personal belongings, including a car seat, “were not visible” from outside the car.
“Council apologises to the car owner that adequate notice wasn‘t provided by letter to the registered address, and despite Council undertaking the process lawfully within the legislation, compensation is assured to the car’s owner,” it said.