THE main road to Fish Creek and Wilsons Promontory was closed for seven hours last Friday afternoon and evening after a stockfeed truck rolled over just outside the town.
The Wonthaggi transport was carrying a load of spoiled potato chips, to be used in a cattle-feed mix by a local dairy farmer, but the Friday order of chips failed to arrive at the Fish Creek property.
Instead they were strewn across a wide area of the Meeniyan-Promontory Road, a kilometre west of the town, and out into the adjoining bushland.
Police believe that the slippery chips, together with fluid in the load, may have shifted as the 48 year old Wonthaggi driver negotiated the left and right bends into the town, resulting in a loss of control.
Skid marks and braking patterns along the grass verge, on the left-hand side of the road, just before its intersection with Cornwalls Road, indicate where the driver was trying to regain control before the truck flipped on its left side, and slid down the edge of the road and out on to the bitumen.
Police said the crash was a single-vehicle incident but a car travelling nearby only narrowly avoided contact as the catastrophic accident was unfolding.
They stopped to render assistance but the truck driver miraculously escaped without injury, although he must certainly have been shaken by the incident.
A spokesperson for the Bass Coast Highway Patrol said it was indeed fortunate that the truck didn’t hit trees on the side of the road or collide with on-coming traffic.
They said they would continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“Whatever the outcome of that, I think it serves as a warning to drivers of bigger trucks, where their loads are an unknown quantity, or which contain water or the potential for movement, to be extra careful,” said Leading Senior Constable, Alan Piening
“Milk trucks use baffles to stop the liquid shifting but this truck didn’t have any baffles.
“You’d need to be diving to the conditions and taking it slowly through the corners,” he said.
Police said the accident took place at about 11.15am but it wasn’t until around 6pm that the road was declared safe for Friday night and weekend traffic.
Vehicles were detoured via Boys Road.
Fish Creek CFA and Vicroads crews were involved in the extensive chip clean-up, while salvage contractors were called in to put the truck back on its wheels and tow it away.
Fishy chip spill