How hero bystander helped cops find crash truckie

 

A horrified driver, who witnessed a truck driver allegedly plough into a group of pedestrians before seeing him flee the scene in Melbourne, is being credited with securing the truckie's arrest.

The passing motorist witnessed the alleged incident unfold, following the B-double truck driver through Melbourne and alerting authorities.

Victoria Police continues to investigate the circumstances of the serious crash, which happened in Southbank about 7pm, and left two people in a serious condition.

"It appears that while performing the left hand turn the truck cut the intersection corner and mounted the footpath, taking out the traffic light which fell to the ground," police said in a statement.

The driver, a 64-year-old man from Wyndham Vale, did not stop at the scene, police said, and continued driving via Power Street.

Thanks to the witness, police managed to locate the driver, arresting him and finding his truck more than 20km away in Truganina.

The pedestrians, four men and a woman and all aged in their 20-30s, have been taken to hospital with two men suffering critical injuries.

The scene from the crash. Picture: Tom Kelly/Twitter
The scene from the crash. Picture: Tom Kelly/Twitter

 

'Terribly dangerous corner': Locals lash intersection

Locals from the Southbank area have lashed the corner where the five pedestrians were hit, with a number of people saying it was "no surprise" the crash had happened.

Tony Penna, the president of Southbank Resident Association, told news.com.au he met with Melbourne's deputy lord mayor Nicholas Reece only a fortnight ago to "show him that footpath and how dangerous it is to pedestrians".

Mr Penna also wrote about the intersection in his monthly column for the community's newspaper. It was published on the same day of the incident.

"I was wanting to highlight the impact of trucks on the City Rd and Power St corner where the trucks often ride over the footpath encroaching on pedestrian space as there is very little room between the corner of Southbank Grand and the road edge," Mr Penna wrote.

"It was a productive meeting and highlighted these areas of concern to him that he wasn't previously aware of. Hopefully this is the start of discussions for future planning."

Bronwyn Cook, who lives in a nearby apartment building, told news.com.au she heard the collision from 34 floor up.

"I could hear screaming when I opened the windows," she said. "It's a terribly dangerous corner, it is no surprise to any locals that this has happened."

The scene from an apartment 34 floors up on the corner of City Road and Power Street. Picture: Bronwyn Cook
The scene from an apartment 34 floors up on the corner of City Road and Power Street. Picture: Bronwyn Cook

Many on social media spoke about the dangers of the intersection.

Local resident Adam Chesters told news.com.au he had "always thought" that area of the footpath was "incredibly dangerous, narrow and sloping to the road" and was "furious" nothing had been done about it earlier.

"The new intersections in this area are SO dangerous for pedestrians," one woman replied to Victoria Police's tweet about the incident.

"It was always going to take an accident for anyone to realise how poorly planned that new area of Southbank is."

Another man wrote on Victoria Police's Facebook post, "This road/intersection is main bypass for tunnel transport & is poorly designed needs to be upgraded to reflect its importance as a major road".

'Cries and screams': Horror scene as bystanders try to help

Ambulance Victoria said two men were taken to Alfred Hospital with lower body injuries and one of them was critical. The other was serious but stable.

Two men and a woman were taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital, also with lower body injuries. One was critical and the two others serious but stable.

Witnesses say the truck hit the corner at speed, taking out the pedestrians standing on the footpath.

Parnak Dave told news.com.au he was at the City Road crossing in an Uber waiting for the lights to turn green when he saw a silver truck with a tanker.

"As soon as the truck went past the crossing we started to hear cries and screams of a man with the entire crossing completely in disarray," he said.

"We saw the people running to help, and the traffic light had been hit and on the ground."

Mr Chesters said that he saw "at least five" injured people with two unconscious "in bad shape" and another briefly trapped underneath them.

"I was there when the police arrived," he said. "A lady was being cradled in her partner's arms for some time."

Mr Chesters said a live traffic light was "parallel to the ground, bent like a twig".

He said onlookers were "in shock" and he tried to help the emergency services.

"Some bicycles in the middle had become pretzels. I don't know how anyone lived through it," he said.

Fiona Lim wrote on a residents' group for the area that the traffic light had been lowered to that position. "It'd been hit and when I arrived there were people rushing to help gently lower it down so it wouldn't fall on the injured," she said.

Emergency services at the scene after a truck ploughed into a group of pedestrians.
Emergency services at the scene after a truck ploughed into a group of pedestrians.

 

A woman named Georgie told news.com.au she was driving along City Rd trying to turn on to Power St just after the crash had happened.

"Paramedics, police and fire crews had just arrived on the scene and while I was waiting for the lights to change, four more paramedics arrived and multiple police cars were starting to block off traffic," she said.

One woman who drove through the area said the scene was "bedlam".

 

Originally published as Chaos as truck ploughs into pedestrians



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