It?s a miracle
By GENEVIEVE ALLPASS
A YOUNG truck driver is lucky to be alive after being pinned and doused with fuel in a frightening crash at Chinderah yesterday.
Police said Aaron Dare, 27, from Warilla near Port Kembla, fell asleep at the wheel of his semi-trailer as it rounded a bend on the Pacific Highway north bound, about 400m south of the Chinderah RTA weigh station in the early hours of yesterday morning.
They believe he awoke just seconds before losing control.
"It would have been pretty scary for him," said Tweed Heads Senior Constable Bruce Jones.
"He attempted to correct the truck but the trailers had started rolling down a table drain.
"He continued to try and correct the semi but the weight of the trailers dragged him down the incline."
The truck, which was carrying a double trailer load of steel rollers, overturned, trapping Mr Dare in the cabin.
Kingscliff paramedic Garry Francis said when he arrived around 4.40am the scene was horrific.
He felt certain the occupant of the truck would surely be deceased.
"When I got there I thought this was really serious," Mr Francis said.
"But miraculously he survived."
Amazingly Mr Dare was conscious but there were grave concerns not just about his injuries but because fuel was pouring over him as he lay trapped.
"He's lucky he didn't catch on fire," Snr Const Jones said.
Tweed Fire Brigade Station Officer Chris Perrin said he noticed the truck's diesel tanks had ruptured when he arrived.
"The Hazardous Material Unit was deployed because there was an element of concern about the leak," he said.
Mr Dare remained conscious throughout his two-hour ordeal.
He was eventually pulled to safety after two cranes were brought in to lift the truck allowing rescue squads to cut him free.
Mr Dare was immediately rushed to Tweed Heads Hospital where he was treated for lower limb and abdominal injuries.
Last night he was in good condition and, remarkably, was likely to be released today, according to director of nursing Annette Symes said.
"All the services did a sensational job and the members of the VRA were exceptional," Mr Francis said. "We had fairly serious concerns for his lower limbs but he emerged intact."