Truckie avoids injury after truck hit by 'gust of wind'
A TRUCK driver has avoided serious injury after the road train he was driving was suddenly hit by a gust of wind, flipping the trailer and dragging the combination onto its side.
Police said the road train was nearing the entry point to one of the corners on the Barrier Highway near Mt Gipps in outback New South Wales at 10am on Thursday when the driver, a 20-year trucking veteran from South Australia, suddenly felt and saw his trailer lifting off the roadway, forcing the whole near side of the combination into the soft ground.
The driver tried to correct the vehicle, which led to an over correction and the trailer flipping with the combination as the gust of wind stopped too late to make any difference.
Members of the public stopped to help and police from the Barrier Police District were called to help with the cleanup of the load, which was some 79 tonnes of hay.
The highway was closed for a few hours for the cleanup.
Police said the driver had only travelled 10km from his rest point near Mt Gipps when the incident happened.
He was issued with a penalty notice for negligence and affixed red label defect notices to the prime mover and trailers.
Police said they were expected to undergo inspection from the Roads and Maritime Services.
Police said the driver said he had been travelling at 90km/hr when he turned off the cruise control to begin negotiating the bends around Mt Gipps.
The advisory signs for the group of bends indicate a maximum of 85km/hr, which would be a maximum expected for a light vehicle.
Police said the incident was a "stark reminder" to all drivers to be aware of the advisory signs, as well as the posted speed limits when travelling on country roads.
"Like so many other regional areas, the Barrier region has undulating surfaces, dirt and bitument roads, sharp and sweeping bends and quite often the weather and wildlife can catch you unaware," police said.