Close call during charity run
A charity run almost turned to tragedy on Thursday when a support vehicle was smashed off the Hume Hwy by a truck near Winton.
The semi-trailer hit the side of a campervan writing it off and causing minor damage to its own front wing and mirror.
The incident will not stop charity marathon runner Billy Tindall from completing his 2000 km journey which aims to raise $100 000 for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.
Billy was there when the accident happened and said it was a miracle no-one was hurt.
‘‘I was running in front of the support vehicle when the truck crashed into it,’’ Billy said.
‘‘The truck had run into the van then swerved past. I actually had my mother beside me at the time.
‘‘My first reaction was to pull my mum out of the way, off the road, then I went to check on the driver.
‘‘There was only one person in the van when it happened, so thankfully everyone is fine.
‘‘The van is written off, but we are waiting on a new one, so we can continue the run and continue raising awareness for the foundation.’’
Billy left Melbourne on Saturday, September 23, to run to the Sunshine Coast over 35 days raising money and awareness about child safety.
He arrived in Benalla on Wednesday, September 27, and met with sponsors at Woolworths in Smythe St before heading for some much-deserved rest and relaxation.
He was heading for the NSW border on Thursday when the accident happened.
Several ambulances attended along with the CFA, SES and police, however, there were no serious injuries and the main task for emergency services was to clear debris from the road and ascertain what happened.
Attending police said the biggest issue they were dealing with was that motorists were not slowing as they passed.
With the Hume Hwy down to one lane there was some concern that a distracted driver may cause another crash.
Billy is due to end his run on Friday, October 27, at the ‘‘Walk for Daniel’’ event on the Sunshine Coast, which coincides with the foundation’s ‘‘Day for Daniel 2017’’.
This is the 13th annual ‘‘Day for Daniel’’, which is not only about raising awareness of child safety issues, but also educating children regarding their personal safety.
Billy said he got involved with the Daniel Morcombe foundation as they were based close to his home town.
‘‘I was the same age as Daniel, who was sadly abducted and murdered in 2003,’’ Billy said.
‘‘Like many people I followed the story over the years, and when I became a father I wanted to do my part to keep kids safe.’’
Daniel Morcombe’s parents Bruce and Denise have urged communities along the route to get behind Billy and support him and his crew.
‘‘A run of this magnitude is hard to comprehend. We wish Billy and his support crew the very best of luck,’’ Bruce said.
‘‘Protecting children is everyone’s business. Get behind this bloke and support him as he will make a difference to keeping kids safe.’’
Billy said Bruce and Denise were an inspiration and kept him focused while running.
‘‘They’re absolutely incredible people, the strength and courage that they’ve shown is amazing,’’ Billy said.
‘‘If they can do what they’ve done it inspires me to be able to do this.
‘‘They’ve been a huge support the whole way. I’m very thankful to be able to do this for them.’’
Determined: Billy Tindall and his support crew meeting staff at Woolworths Benalla, which is one of his sponsors.
Crash scene: Luckily no-one was in the back of the van when the crash occurred.
No-one hurt: The truck sustained minor damage.