On the 16th of November 1953, Kenneth Joseph Cleary was killed while constructing the road into the Kanimbla Valley.
The SMH of 17th November 1953 reported
“ROCK-FALL KILLS WORKER ON ROAD
KATOOMBA, Monday. Kenneth Joseph Cleary, 21, of Macquarie Road, Camden, was killed instantly this afternoon when two tons of overhanging rock fell and crushed him while he was making a road at Wentworth Falls.
Police believe the vibration of pneumatic drills which Cleary and his companion were using caused the landslide.
Cleary’s workmate, Eric Ivor Pattison, 24, of Bringelly, narrowly escaped the falling rocks. The men were employed by the Kedumba Pastoral Company and were working on the construction of a stock route which leads into the Kedumba Valley.
Hikers and bushmen know this route as the “goat track.” It starts at the end of the King’s Tableland and descends into the valley.
Cleary and Pattison were making the road around the side of a cliff, when the rock crashed.
Unable to make a lone rescue, Pattison drove a jeep over a treacherous road for nearly four miles and telephoned the police and ambulance from the Queen Victoria Homes.
An ambulance from Katoomba was unable to proceed any further than two miles from the scene of the fatality.
Constable H. White, of Lawson, and ambulance officer Harry Smith travelled on foot with a stretcher. Two doctors, Constable White, Pattison, and two civilians lowered Smith on a rope down the cliff side to where the dead man was lying.
Smith took grave risks of being crushed by a fresh fall while he cleared rocks and earth away from the body. With the body attached to the rope, the party above hauled it up, while Smith climbed behind to steady it. The party then carried the body over rough road to where the jeep was waiting.
Pattison drove the jeep for two miles over rough road, and the dead man was transferred to the ambulance and taken to the morgue.
Sergeant H. Morrow and Detective T. Dudeney, of Katoomba, are making inquiries.”
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