FOR anyone who drives frequently on the Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road, this report by police, about the reason for a dramatic truck rollover on the road last Wednesday afternoon, will immediately ring true.
According to Korumburra Police, and corroborated by both the truck driver and a witness, an oncoming car drifted across the double lines in front of the huge B-double rig, forcing the 40 year old local truck driver off the road in evasive action.
He’s the victim in this, according to police, certainly not at fault, a hero if anything for potentially avoiding a head-on collision with a distracted driver.
But how often do we see that these days?
“He’s moved over and the truck’s wheels have got caught in the grass verge along the edge of the road. You can see where he’s tried to keep it on the road for 141 metres but ultimately he’s turned it over,” said Senior Constable Garth Campbell of the Korumburra Police.
A deep gouge through the waterlogged roadside grass and finally down an embankment, to where the B-double has rolled over, broken up and caught fire; tells the story.
“Fortunately the driver has been able to walk away with what we believe to be relatively minor injuries, but he’s been extremely lucky not to have been killed,” S/C Campbell said.
“The driver gave us that account and we also have witnesses but unfortunately we don’t have a description of the car at this stage.”
S/C Campbell said the driver of the car which caused the incident didn’t stop.
To be fair, he or she may not even have known about the carnage that was left behind.
The locally owned B-double truck was carting 20,000 litres of bio-fertiliser from Burra Foods to a farming property at Inverloch.
The liquid fertiliser was spilled at the scene of the incident, which occurred at about 3.15pm and while Korumburra CFA and Kongwak CFA attended, there was no environmental threat.
The driver was transported to Korumburra by road ambulance, to a Helmed helicopter which had landed at the Korumburra Showgrounds.
He was airlifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, more as a precaution for an industrial accident, rather than as a result of any major injury.
Korumburra Police had charge of the scene, and maintained half-road access, with assistance from Bass Coast Highway Patrol and other emergency services, until the road was finally closed at about 5.30pm for the salvage operation.
The scene wasn’t cleared until 11.30pm on Wednesday night.
The truck, which caught fire immediately after the incident, is believed to be a complete write-off.
Locals who responded to the Sentinel-Times’ Facebook post are aware of the dangers that exist on the road between Korumburra and Inverloch, not only because of the narrow verge but also as a result of speed and driver distraction.
“Not much hard shoulder on that bit of road, and there is a dip in the surface on the outbound lane coming from Korumburra. I’d say that’s a contributing factor,” said a local reader.
Distracted driver causes truck rollover, say police