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Plumber pulls truckie from burning wreck

Monday, 7th May, 2018

Firefighters battle a truck blaze on the Barrier Highway on Friday afternoon. PICTURE: Supplied Firefighters battle a truck blaze on the Barrier Highway on Friday afternoon. PICTURE: Supplied

By Michael Murphy

Emergency services personnel yesterday praised the actions of a plumber who pulled a truck driver from a burning wreck on Friday afternoon.

Police said the b-double truck carrying a load of fruit and vegetables was 30 kilometres east of Broken Hill on the Barrier Highway when its tyres blew out.

The truck was travelling toward Broken Hill and it flipped on its side and careered off the road, police said.

The plumber, 25, was driving past, noticed the wreck and swung into action.

He realised the driver, 48, was trapped inside the cabin. 

“He couldn’t get him up through the window because the truck was on its side,” a police spokesperson said.

“So he jumped in the cabin and kicked the glass out with his feet.”

A plastic guard was obstructing the window, so he went back to his vehicle, grabbed a crowbar and smashed it free.

“He was then able to pull the driver free ... within a couple of seconds the truck was in flames.”

Firefighters from Broken Hill and Silverton descended on the truck crash while paramedics treated the driver on the roadside and transported him to hospital.

The driver suffered a large cut to his head that required 16 staples, and other injuries to his ribs, stomach and legs. 

Firefighters fought the blaze for a couple of hours, initially using foam to suppress it.

Station Officer Scott Parker said the limited water supply slowed down the fire fight, until a 35,000 litre water tanker arrived from Basin Sands Logistics. 

SO Parker praised the local earth moving company, and the rural fire service for responding.

He also heaped praise on the young plumber who saved the truck driver’s life.

“If he never pulled him out, there was a good chance the driver would have perished in the fire,” he said.

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