The West

Timber truck crash bolsters rail argument
Timber truck crash bolsters rail argument

A truck accident that sent 25 tonnes of logs across South Western Highway yesterday has prompted calls to cut the number of heavy vehicles using the winding road.

A log trailer being towed by the truck overturned at a bend 7km north of Donnybrook near where 31-year-old Gyan Jeffery was found dead after a suspected hit-and-run incident on October 1.

Driver Stephen Ellice said he was terrified when he realised his dog trailer had tipped and logs were thundering across the highway.

“I was coming around the corner and all I heard was a bang and I knew there was trouble,” he said.

Mr Ellice said he was terrified the logs would hit oncoming traffic.

“I just hoped like anything I hadn’t hurt anybody,” he said.

The truck was taking logs from blue gum plantations near Boyup Brook to Bunbury Port.

Donnybrook Sgt Shaun Peters said it appeared an unexplained brake seizure caused the crash.

“The danger was very high,” he said. “If another vehicle had been heading in the other direction, it could have been fatal.”

Sgt Peters said the driver “kept his smarts” and kept going about 200m to get the trailer off the road.

Donnybrook Shire president Steve Dilley said there had long been concerns over the volume of heavy log trucks on the highway.

The State Government was accused last year of breaking an election promise when it told residents they would have to wait for an initial $5 million upgrade of the disused Greenbushes railway, which would take log trucks off the road.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell said any upgrade must be underpinned by commercial agreements between industry and rail operators.

He said $12 million had been spent on the road since 2009-10 and more work was planned.

The West Australian

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