Driver averts disaster

A truck caught fire on the Newell Highway in Narrandera.

A potential disaster was avoided by the actions of a Narrandera truck driver on the weekend.

A truck with a full trailer of mill mix from Manildra was travelling on the Newell Highway, 18 metres from Stanley Street, stopped on the highway to make room for a wide load.

When the driver, a 61 year old man from Narrandera, started the truck again, the cabin filled with smoke due to a diesel leak.

The driver, acting quickly, got out of the cabin and put the legs down on the trailer. He then got back into the cabin to allow it to move forward, away from the trailer. Unfortunately, the driver was overwhelmed by the smoke in the cabin and he had to evacuate it. As he did so, the cabin burst into flames.

The truck cabin was completely destroyed. The trailer wasn’t damaged and the driver suffered a two-centimetre cut to his leg. Police are praising the truck driver for his quick thinking detaching the trailer as the contents were extremely volatile.

Flour, when particles suspended in the air are ignited in a pressurised environment, will create a dust explosion, similar to coal dust igniting and exploding in a mine. In large quantities, such as that in a full trailer, it could have caused a significant amount of damage.

In other news, a single vehicle accident occurred ten kilometres east of Narrandera on the Sturt Highway. At 9pm on Friday, witnesses reported a car involved in a single-vehicle accident. The driver lost control of the vehicle and the car left the road.

Police attended the scene and found the driver ‘staggering’ along the highway. The driver refused a roadside breath test. The driver was taken back to Narrandera Police Station, where he returned a positive result for high-range drink driving.

The driver, a 25 year old man, will appear in court at a later date.

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