Four-truck crash challenges NSW recovery resources

By: Rob McKay

Three trucks stationary at roadworks as fourth fails to stop causing serious injuries

Four-truck crash challenges NSW recovery resources
A Live Traffic NSW image of the incident's aftermath


An rare and expensive New South Wales incident for the trucking industry this morning has seen four heavy-duty trucks involved in a nose-to-tail crash on the Pacific Highway at Telegraph Point.

And the number involved has stretched accident mitigation services, according to the state’s Transport Management Centre (TMC).

Local news services suggest three B-doubles and a Pantech are involved, with at least three drivers receiving hospital treatment.

At time of writing, Live Traffic NSW reports emergency services, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), a heavy tow truck and a crane remain in attendance following the accident that occurred not long after midnight.

TMC spokesman Dave Wright tells ATN it took four hours to extricate and treat the badly injured driver of the fourth truck and fly him out by rescue helicopter.

Then the vehicle recovery presented a tough task.

"The trucks jammed together – we had to get a number of cranes in to help shift some of the trucks out of the way," Wright says at around midday.

"We got two trucks out of the way fairly quickly but the fourth truck, which was the truck that sustained the most [damage] was really wedged in and that took some time to remove it and that process is still going on, so I believe.

"It’s very rare that you have an incident with four B-doubles or semitrailers being involved in an accident in the middle of the night, in the middle of the state.

"So, to actually get all those resources there was a logistical challenge in the first place. And particularly heavy tow trucks; there is literally only a few in the state."

Investigations are underway at the site – on part of the highway that is only a month or two away from the end of duplication works – and it is unclear when the highway will reopen.

News images show trailers with Lindsay Transport and Booth livery but others are not in sight and positioning is not plain.

"The Pacific Highway was closed in both directions this morning at Telegraph Point north of Port Macquarie after a crash involving four trucks," an RMS spokesperson tells ATN.

"One lane of the highway has reopened under stop / slow traffic conditions and motorists in both directions are taking turns to pass the incident.

"A complex salvage operation is required and will be under way for most of the day.

"The crash occurred on a section of the highway where Roads and Maritime was carrying out routine maintenance.

"This section of the highway is being bypassed by the Oxley Highway to Kundabung Pacific Highway project, which is expected to be completed in coming months.

"Roads and Maritime Services is assisting NSW Police with an investigation into the incident."



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