SPENCERS Road in Leongatha North will remain closed until a bridge is repaired after a truck crashed through its guardrails and ended up in Coalition Creek at 1pm on Wednesday last week.
Leongatha police are continuing their investigation into the incident.
“We are not sure at this stage how the incident occurred,” Sergeant Dale McCahon said.
“The driver told police at the scene he couldn’t recall what happened, but he did have a pretty big knock on the head.
“He was driving a TNT delivery truck which ran off the road into the timber guard rail of the single lane bridge.
“The guardrail disintegrated and the truck rolled over the side of the bridge, dropping about 15 feet onto its roof.”
The driver, a 59 year-old Newborough man, was trapped in the vehicle for three hours and was treated by emergency paramedics and SES crews before being airlifted to a Melbourne hospital.
Sgt McCahon said it was miraculous the driver escaped critical injuries, but only sustained head and leg injuries for which he has undergone operations, including skin grafts.
A heavy vehicle haulage truck was called to remove the TNT truck from the stream.
In all, the operation took around seven hours and included Leongatha SES, Leongatha and Ruby CFA, Ambulance Victoria and two police crews.
South Gippsland Shire Council said Spencers Road remains closed while the bridge guardrails are down.
“There is no confirmed date for the reopening,” council’s communications officer Jeannie Hicks said.
“The team is looking to install a temporary barrier at the earliest opportunity if it can meet the relevant safety standards.
“Meanwhile a tender will close next week for the permanent replacement work. It will be replaced by a steel guard rail (the former one was wooden).
“No specific date can be provided but the permanent barrier may take four to five weeks and if an acceptable temporary barrier can be configured and weather permitting, the road may open earlier.”
Drivers are being diverted to Edens Road, a few hundred metres further along Wild Dog Valley Road.