‘‘I thought he was dead.’’
That was the frank assessment from the colleague of a driver who collided with two trucks on Picton Road on Friday, emerging from a crushed cabin with just minor cuts.
About 9.50am on Friday, the 74-year-old driver of a brand new truck, picked up from Unanderra earlier that morning, attempted to overtake a semi-trailer travelling westbound, about two kilometres from the Mount Ousley turn-off. He struck the trailer’s rear end and veered on to the wrong side of the road, then colliding with a second oncoming truck travelling east, police said.
Wollongong police Sergeant Darrell Simmons said the 74-year-old was taken to Wollongong Hospital with lacerations to his arm, but drivers of the other two trucks were unharmed besides suffering shock.
‘‘The new truck was behind the double-trailer travelling westbound, and in trying to overtake, collided with the back of that trailer,’’ Sergeant Simmons said.
‘‘The truck crossed to the wrong side of the road, forcing the driver of the third truck to take evasive action.’’
The 74-year-old driver, an employee of Sydney Trucks and Machinery, was delivering the new truck to the company’s base at Smeaton Grange.
Stan Michalski, a colleague following in another vehicle, said he was amazed there were no further injuries.
‘‘I thought he was dead,’’ Mr Michalski said.
‘‘I was travelling a little way behind and saw the accident after it happened. I’m ecstatic that he is not more hurt.’’
The accident occurred in a stretch of road with two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane.
Two trucks ended up in the first westbound lane and the other came to rest to the side of the eastbound lane, forcing only one lane of traffic to be blocked and allowing other traffic to continue passing.
The driver had since been discharged from hospital.