Truck’s trail of death and destruction
A B-double truck that caused a 50-metre trail of destruction, killing one woman and injuring several more as they waited at an inner city bus stop, was only a short distance from its destination when the driver suffered a "medical episode".
The 38-year-old driver - who last night remained on life support at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital - lost consciousness on Botany Rd, Alexandria, just before 8am and began to drift across three lanes of traffic.
The truck, laden with bricks, bounced from one side of the road to the other as it tore out light poles and street signs before crashing into a busy bus stop where five people were waiting.
A 44-year-old woman was flung into a nearby building which collapsed on top of her.
Redfern Police Superintendent Andrew Holland said the woman was "knocked into the building by the sheer force of the truck".
A lengthy recovery operation took place to extract her body from the rubble.
The truck driver was trapped for an hour, with his legs pinned, as rescuers pried him from his crumpled cab. Paramedics needed to administer several blood transfusions to keep him alive.
Four other pedestrians were seriously injured including a 21-year-old woman who was thrown from the bus stop and remains in an induced coma at St Vincent's Hospital.
Her aunt posted that the woman's family were praying for her survival.
"Please let my niece be OK. This was a tragic accident please let us try to understand what has happened. And pray for those survivors to be OK. My girl is not in a good way," she wrote online.
A 26-year-old woman and two male pedestrians were also taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for treatment with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Another of the crash victims was left with "significant facial injuries".
Those with non-life threatening injuries were in stable conditions except one who was discharged.
The truck driver is still in a critical condition.
Dozens of people waiting at a bus stop on the other side of the road were lucky to miss being hit by the truck when it swerved the other way.
Younas Chalich said it was a confronting scene. "It was like an explosion it was that loud. A lot of people screaming, a lot of people rushing and a lot in shock," he said.
"We just ran over to see what we could do. Not something you want to see."
Cab driver Reggie Djuardi was driving his daughter Grace to work when the crash unfolded in front of them.
"All of a sudden I saw the electric wire sparkling and I drove very quick. I thought 'me and her, we are gone'," he told Channel 9.
The truckie was driving for a large masonry firm based in Western Sydney.
The B-double truck had left Blacktown and was due to arrive at Rosebery a short distance from where it crashed.
The trucking company involved in the accident said that they would be treating the investigation as a "key focus" in the coming days.
NSW Ambulance Acting Superintendent Steve Vaughan said the cause of the driver's medical episode was still under investigation.
"He may have had a medical episode, but that is yet to be confirmed," he said.
"The truck (was) compressing the driver's legs, which required intervention from the medical team and collaboration with police rescue and paramedics."