ABOUT 150 litres of diesel was spilt on to the South Gippsland Highway last Thursday, November 28 when one of two trucks involved in a ‘side-swipe’ collision had its fuel tank punctured.
The male drivers of both trucks escaped without injury but that’s more than you could say for the vehicles’ owners.
One of the trucks sustained a broken axle and an estimated $50,000 in damages, while the other was only superficially damaged and the repair bill was put at around the $10,000.
Police said the accident could have been a lot more serious.
The accident occurred on the South Gippsland Highway, about three kilometres south of Leongatha, near Carmody’s Road, at about 1.15pm.
It is understood that an empty cattle truck, going in the direction of the Koonwarra saleyards, jack-knifed when the driver tried to pull up behind a garbage truck which was collecting bins at several highway-fronted homes.
Having lost control, the cattle truck allegedly veered out towards another truck, carrying a load of sawdust, heading north towards Leongatha.
The driver of that truck took evasive action but was side-swiped and, as a result, headed further out to the side of the road.
Unfortunately there was a line of steel poles in front of him, used to mount Leongatha’s Christmas decorations, on the hospital-side entrance to the town.
As a result, two of the poles were severed at the base and the colourful festive decorations were reduced to a crumpled mess.
“What appears to have taken place is that one of the trucks has only had limited space to slow down behind the garbage truck and when he’s gone for the brakes, he’s come to grief,” said Senior Constable Don Haw of the Leongatha Police.
He said the matter would, however, be investigated by police who were appealing to any eye-witnesses who may have seen what happened immediately before and during the incident.
Road conditions were wet after the first shower of rain following a change.