A chicken truck smashed down three steel bollards outside the Austral Hotel in Korumbura last Tuesday, saving the iconic pub’s veranda but causing extensive damage to the truck. M015216

KORUMBURRA’S notorious s-bend, at the top of Commercial Street, right in the heart of the town, was again the scene of a serious truck accident in the early hours of last Tuesday morning, December 20.
However, while the transport firm involved has unofficially put up its hand to acknowledge driver error, they have urged authorities to take action to minimise the risk.
“Look, we can’t say a lot about what happened at this stage, while insurance and all the rest is sorted out, but we are aware of other accidents at the site and we believe there are definitely problems there,” said a spokesman for transport firm, S & M Bontorno Transport of Somerville.
“We certainly can’t blame anyone else for what happened, don’t get me wrong, but you do have the situation there, when you are turning left (into Mine Road), that trucks have to go out into the right lane, and you’ve got the problem of cars coming up on the left-hand side.
“The drivers feel like they have to protect themselves on the inside by going in a bit closer, so it’s not ideal.”
The spokesman said that reducing the road to one lane until well clear of the corner, and making that clear to all road users, would help.
“The other thing they should look at is the design of the bollards.
“If they were 1.5 metres high and at least 10” (25cm) around, they would be hit by the skid-rail on the trailer and not go under the truck and get caught up in the axle as happened here.
“The truck would simply bump the bollard and continue on. You wouldn’t have had the same problem.
“I’d be happy to talk to your local transport safety committee, the council or whoever can influence these things.”
The spokesman for Bontorno Transport said his driver was shaken but otherwise OK and the incident did cause 12 hours downtime at what is a very busy time of the year.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t a good look in the town either and we’re sorry about that,” he said.
It is believed the unladen semi-trailer was headed into South Gippsland for an early morning pick-up of fresh chickens for Ingham’s Chickens to meet the massive Christmas-New Year appetite for chicken meat.
After smashing down three bollards protecting the Austral Hotel veranda and scraping one of the veranda posts, the truck with a damaged axle and rear wheels continued on for 100 metres until it came to a halt opposite the Korumburra Primary School.
It was 12 hours before the stricken truck could be salvaged.
The ‘Sentinel-Times’ Facebook page went into meltdown after images of the accident were posted on Tuesday morning, with more than 60,000 people reached, 250 comments, 200 shares and 300 ‘likes/dislikes’.

Top 10 comments
The ‘Top 10’ Facebook comments were as follows:
1. Bring on a bypass but need something better than that pathetic one at Leongatha.
2. What the! I take my B-double around that corner and go nowhere near them. That’s the difference between a driver and a steering wheel attendant.
3. First we allegedly have the ‘dangerous bends’ near Coal Creek. Now we will have people asking for millions to be spent on a bypass. Why can’t we all drive properly and then there won’t be any issues.
4. Common sense would say buy the Alex Scott building, buy half the pub’s carpark, the two shops before BKs and drive straight through. But hey, common sense and VicRoads should not be used together.
5. Whoever put the bollards and concrete in did a great job, saved the top pub once again.
6. Trucks driving through the main street of this town = disasters waiting to happen.
7. Used to go through there in a B-double for nearly two years and never had trouble going around that corner.
8. I’d like to see him explain this to his boss.
9. Top Pub is running out of its nine lives.
10. Maybe he was playing chicken.