Calder Hwy tanker rollover (pic Herald Sun)
Pic: Herald Sun
Calder Hwy tanker rollover (Pic The AGE)
Pic: The AGE

There was a horrible truck roll-over crash on the Calder Highway at Keilor yesterday.  A fuel tanker rolled, crushing a car and, sadly, fatally injuring the driver.  A substantial amount of fuel, reported as a mixture of petrol and diesel, leaked from the tanker and into a local creek.  This is one of the biggest crashes in Melbourne for some time, keeping the highway closed in both directions for around 19 hours.

Many people would jump to the conclusion that the truck driver was at fault, however media reports suggest the b-double tanker had to take evasive action to avoid a car merging onto the highway, and crossing lanes, too slowly.  The truck hit the embankment and crashed onto its side.  I’m not sure how accurate this account of the accident is, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it is true.  As a heavy vehicle driver myself, I too often see car drivers enter freeways unsafely.  (Another growing trend on the road is motorists cruising well below the speed-limit, presumably to avoid speed cameras, which can be just as dangerous as speeding.)  Multi-combination (b-double) fuel tanker drivers would be the most highly trained, and monitored, professional drivers on the road, especially those working for large organisations like Toll or Linfox, so I doubt this driver was any sort of cowboy.  It appears that a motorist, probably just on his daily commute to work, has made a horrible error in judging his speed and road position relative to the 60+ tonne b-double tanker.

Both the Melbourne Hearld-Sun and The AGE have reported extensively on this incident, click the links for more.

Please, take is easy on the road.  Merge on to highways and freeways at a speed relative to the other traffic, and give trucks plenty of room.