Cause of ma­jor crash in ques­tion

Driv­ers say sig­nage lack­ing

Big Rigs - - ROAD TEST - Kirstin Payne kirstin.payne@bi­grigs.com.au

NEWS of a four-truck pile-up on the Pa­cific Hwy both sad­dened and baf­fled many in the sec­tor, leav­ing driv­ers who fre­quent the area to ques­tion if other fac­tors were in­volved.

In the early hours of Septem­ber 7, three B-dou­bles and a sin­gle PanTech truck trav­el­ling north crashed end to end north of Port Mac­quarie Tele­graph Point near Moor­side Dr.

The hor­rific col­li­sion left a 69-year-old B-dou­ble driver trapped in the crushed cab for four hours.

He was later air­lifted to John Hunter hospi­tal with se­ri­ous in­juries while an­other per­son was re­ported to have been taken to Port Mac­quarie hospi­tal with mi­nor in­juries.

While no of­fi­cial state­ment into the cause of the crash has been re­leased, the in­ci­dent was re­ported to have taken place at 2am near an ac­tive road work­site.

Jeremy, a driver who trav­els past the in­ci­dent site on a weekly ba­sis, said he be­lieved in­ad­e­quate sig­nage may have been a fac­tor.

“I am a driver my­self, run trucks up and down the high­way weekly, I passed the spot of the crash 20 min­utes be­fore the ac­ci­dent hap­pened,” he said.

“The road­works set-up was poorly signed that night.

“I was trav­el­ling with an off­sider and we both saw a sin­gle red light half­way around a bend, we both thought it was mo­tor­bike.

“The B-dou­ble ahead of me didn’t see and locked up.

“I was driv­ing a rigid at the time so I was able to stop. As far as no­tice goes there was noth­ing set up, I only saw a sin­gle road­works sign ages back dur­ing the day.

“It was ridicu­lous, and an ac­ci­dent was bound to hap­pen.”

The ex­pe­ri­enced driver said the night of the col­li­sion was the first time he saw the traf­fic light in place.

“I went through there only four days ear­lier and it wasn’t signed like that,” he said.

Jeremy said he had also heard from other driv­ers that signs may have been put out im­me­di­ately af­ter the truck ac­ci­dent.

“They would have known straight away they had stuffed up,” he said.

“As soon as I heard it I knew what would have caused it.

“What­ever hap­pens, the blame shouldn’t be placed on the driv­ers.”

NSW Po­lice are yet to for­mally in­ter­view all of the driv­ers in­volved in the in­ci­dent.

“Po­lice are ap­peal­ing to mem­bers of the pub­lic who may have more in­for­ma­tion on the mat­ter,” a po­lice rep­re­sen­ta­tive said.

Big Rigs ap­proached Roads and Mar­itime Ser­vices about the mat­ter of in­ad­e­quate sig­nage at the site of the in­ci­dent, how­ever they were un­able to com­ment on the mat­ter.

“RMS is as­sist­ing NSW Po­lice with its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a crash at Tele­graph Point on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 7 this year and it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment fur­ther,” a Roads RMS rep­re­sen­ta­tive said.

The in­dus­try waits for an out­come of that in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

❝As

soon as I heard it I knew what would have caused it. What­ever hap­pens, the blame shouldn’t be placed on the driv­ers.

PHOTO: LIVE TRAF­FIC NSW

HOR­RIFIC night CRASH: One driver had to be air­lifted to hospi­tal fol­low­ing the Tele­graph Point Crash.

PHOTO: PAUL BRAVEN

ROAD­WORKS CON­CERN: Driv­ers who fre­quent the high­way be­lieve the road­works were a fac­tor.

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