Dog sole survivor as truck drivers killed in fiery crash
THE boss of one of two truck drivers who died in a fiery crash on Picton Rd, in Sydney's south west early today, has paid tribute to his employee and friend, Michael Gorman.
Mr Gorman, 39 - who leaves behind a wife and young son - lost his life on the horror stretch of road that has claimed dozens of lives over the years.
Just after 5am, a B-double truck and Mr Gorman's car carrier truck slammed head-on at Picton Rd, about 5km east of the Hume Hwy at Wilton.
Steve Cole, the owner of Campbelltown City Car Carriers, said losing his employee and friend has "destroyed all of us".
Mr Cole will close his business tomorrow as a "day of respect" to honour Mr Gorman, who he said will be sadly missed.
"It is devastating this is our first accident of such and I just don't know what to say, he's not just an employee of our company, he was a family member," Mr Cole told Channel Seven.
"To see the carnage, it's a shock, to think somebody's mistake, whether it was speed involved or a truck malfunction, has taken out an innocent life and destroyed quite a few families. It's beyond words.
"You could not wish to have a nicer employee but also friend. Always obliging, always having a laugh and a joke and he is going to be sadly missed.
"To Mick's family, my heart goes out to you all. God Bless you. I love you.
"There's an old saying, 'you go to work in the morning, God willing you go home at night'."
A dog who survived the crash belonged to the B-double driver, Adrian Ryan, 32, who is believed to be from Goulburn.
Mr Ryan was thrown from the B-double vehicle and Mr Gorman died inside the burning cabin.
Fire and Rescue NSW crews worked to fight the blaze which spread from the cabin of the car carrier to three of the cars being transported on it.
Firefighters were called to the scene to extinguish the fires but were blocked at first by the burning trailer.
Unable to access the scene, they had to double back around and approach from the east, via Macarthur Drive.
Another three-car accident on Picton Rd this morning closed northbound lanes on the M1 Princes Motorway near Cataract.
A popular connection between the Princes and Hume highways, Picton Rd is a notorious black spot.
Just two weeks ago, two trucks collided about 1km south of today's crash.
Three days earlier, on March 7, Julie Bullock, 49, and her son Hudson died tragically about 1km south of the Picton Rd turn-off after a car crossed onto the wrong side of the Hume Hwy. Hudson's twin Sienna and the driver of the other car suffered critical injuries in the collision.
Last month, a man died and several other were injured in a crash not far from today's scene.
One of the worst crashes on the same stretch of road was in 2009, when five members of a family who had fled Afghanistan in search of a new life were killed in a crash.
In January, the state government announced it had finished a $53 million upgrade on the road to make it safer.
"The improvements were designed to reduce the number and severity of the most common types of crashes on the road and make it a safer and more reliable transport link for the 15,000 motorists who use it every day," an RMS statement said.
Motorists on the Hume Hwy were urged to use Appin Rd as an alternative while westbound light vehicles are being diverted on to Macarthur Drive, Wilton Rd, Argyle St and Almond St while the road was blocked off as police investigated.