By Melissa Sheil
The close friend of a 23-year-old woman killed in a car accident last week says the new mother was discovering a “new meaning in life” after the birth of her first child just three weeks before.
Darryleen Koolmatrie was killed when the car she was a passenger in struck a power pole on Welshpool Road East near Crystal Brook Road and Lions Lookout on Wednesday, September 1.
The driver, 30-year-old Grantley Penny, received only minor injuries but has been charged with Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death.
He appeared in the Midland Magistrates Court on September 2 and will reappear on October 8.
The couple had welcomed their first child, a boy named Grantley, only three weeks earlier, who is now in the care of Ms Koolmatrie’s grandmother Joyleen.
Ms Koolmatrie’s close friend Keeley Emmitt started a gofundme page to raise money for baby Grantley’s future and assist her grieving family.
“I met Darryleen in primary school when we were only 12, and just loved watching her become a mum and have a new meaning to life,” she said.
“I started the gofundme because I think [the Koolmatrie’s] are a very deserving family and it’s just such a tragic moment that I hoped we could all come together and help.
“Hopefully we can get enough money to help baby Grantley have everything he needs.”
Between 2016 and 2020, the section of Welshpool Road East from opposite Gavour Road to Lions Lookout has been the site of 21 crashes, with a man in his 20s dying on the same median strip as Ms Koolmatrie last year.
As reported in Killer road remedies (Echo News, August 6) this portion of road was included in the City of Kalamunda’s submission for the State Black Spot Program, a government grant that funds implementing road safety measures at crash hot spots.
The submission included five proposed treatments for the road, costing a total of $1.6 million, with the City contributing $532,667.
Proposed remedies include installing road safety barriers on the north side of Welshpool Road East to protect from roadside hazards, installing concrete barriers in the median of Welshpool Road East and Crystal Brook Road to prevent head on collisions, extending the turning pocket to Crystal Brook Road to remove sight blocks, moving the entrance of Lions Lookout to prevent vehicles crossing the median and improve traffic visibility, and installing audio tactile edge lines to alert drivers to the lanes and speeds.
The City will learn if its application was successful in May 2022.
To donate to baby Grantley, visit www.gofundme.com and search ‘Help Darryleen Koolmatrie’s family’.