A Wollongong woman needed a titanium cage inserted into her spine after a truck rolled on to the roof of her car, crushing the top of the vehicle, a court was told yesterday.
Magistrate Ian Guy said it was a miracle the 42-year-old driver had survived the shocking South Coast collision, given the severity of damage to her car.
Sentencing truck driver Danny Zetovic to 175 hours of community service over the crash, Mr Guy said the 47-year-old should have driven more prudently around the notorious bend at Foxground.
Zetovic, of Nowra, was driving a truck towing two trailers loaded with nearly 28,000 litres of milk along the Princes Highway on April 10. He started to round a bend about 20 metres north of Broughton Creek Bridge when one of the trailers began to roll.
The side of the trailer collided heavily with the roof of the victim's vehicle, which had been travelling in the opposite direction, totally flattening the top of the car.
The victim was trapped inside for over an hour while emergency crews worked to free her.
Zetovic's truck continued to roll before both trailers severed from the tanker and came to rest on the roadside.
Milk began to flow as the truck continued to travel north, eventually stopping 90 metres from the initial collision site.
The victim suffered a serious back injury and was immediately flown to Sydney's St George Hospital by helicopter.
Zetovic, who was not injured, told police a turntable on the truck had snapped and the trailer had come off. The vehicle was seized and no mechanical faults were recorded, the court heard.
The victim underwent an operation for a fracture to her back and spent nearly a week in hospital.
Prosecutor Sergeant Shannon Ryan told the court yesterday the victim had not suffered any major residual injuries in the crash but was still not allowed to do any heavy lifting.
Defence barrister Robert Steward admitted Zetovic, who pleaded guilty to negligent driving, should have shown greater judgment when he entered the bend.
Mr Steward told the court his client had significant gaps in his traffic record, had expressed remorse and had been dismissed from his job as a result of the crash.
Zetovic was also disqualified from driving for 18 months.