This semi-trailer overturned on the Leichhardt Highway near banana on Wednesday night when it swerved to avoid a crash. It lost its load of tomatoes.
This semi-trailer overturned on the Leichhardt Highway near banana on Wednesday night when it swerved to avoid a crash. It lost its load of tomatoes. Steve Latimer

Highway awash with tomatoes

“I DIDN'T get the chance to count each and every tomato individually, but they were strewn everywhere,” a tired Moura police Senior Constable Bill Dowden mused Thursday.

Senior Constable Dowden spent about 10 hours on Wednesday night at the tomato-strewn scene of a semi-trailer crash on the Leichhardt Highway, 15km south of Banana.

The semi overturned about 9pm as the driver swerved to avoid running into crushed car bodies that had fallen onto the bitumen from another truck. As the rig went over, it spewed its load of red fruit over the roadway.

“I reckon there would have been about 30 to 40 tonnes of tomatoes ruined,” Senior Constable Dowden said.

“They were still cleaning them up early this morning (yesterday) when I left - using a bobcat to scoop them up and dump them into a skip bin.”

The car bodies had fallen onto the highway after the trailer on the first semi rolled.

The driver had just enough time to pull his truck off the road, turn on his hazard lights and switch off his headlights before the second semi came hurdling down the highway towards the wrecks.

Fire crews from Moura and Biloela joined Moura ambulance and police at the scene. They worked through the night to clear the road.

The driver of the second semi-trailer was treated by paramedics from Moura ambulance before being taken to Moura Hospital with minor injuries.

Yesterday morning specialist heavy-haul tow trucks from Rockhampton and Mackay were used to remove the damaged prime mover and trailers.



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