Man killed by buffalo in SA hailed as transport industry 'icon'

Peter Caldicott

The devastated son and daughter of a truck driver killed by a buffalo in a freak incident in South Australia have paid tribute to their dad.

Alan Carter, a transport worker with 50 years experience, was unloading stock at a Strathalbyn abattoir when the animal suddenly turned on him.

Another truckie, Doug Van Tijn, who heard banging sounds ran to the rescue.

Friends and family members have paid tribute to Alan Carter. Photo: 7 News/Supplied

“I jumped up on the ramp and there he is, laying up against the wall of the truck,” he said.

The 72-year-old had been crushed and gored by the buffalo.

He was flown to hospital in a critical condition but tragically died a short time later.

“Hopeless, can’t do nothing. Anyhow, he’s dead now I suppose,” Doug said, fighting back tears.

Police and SafeWork SA will view security video of the incident to try to determine what went wrong.

Mr Carter’s son Rod and his daughter Michelle paid tribute to their father saying he was an icon in the transport industry.

“Big, strong, stubborn, pig headed but everybody loved him,” Michelle said.

“He told it how it was.”

Mr Carter was working to unload buffalo from a truck when the accident happened. Photo: 7 News

Rod talked to his dad moments before the accident.

“As he would always say, keep them wheels turning, boy,” Rod said.

It is not the first time the Carter family has been struck by tragedy.

Three-year-ago Alan’s grandson Bo died when fire ripped through their home near Murray Bridge.

“We lost our little nephew in that one, me and dad stood there and watched that one burn down,” Michelle said.

A report is being prepared for the coroner.