Truck driver tells of man's lucky escape

A MAN was lucky to escape with his life after a serious car crash at Inglewood on Monday.

Truck driver John Hatchell-Brown said the 22-year-old Ford Territory driver appeared to have fallen asleep at the wheel before slamming into his truck.

The incident, which occurred at about 8am on the Calder Highway, caused major damage to the Territory.

“He was getting close to the white line,” Mr Hatchell-Brown said.

“He must have sort of slumped down and pulled on the steering wheel because he turned suddenly straight onto my side of the road.

“I think his entire car was on the wrong side of the road when he hit me.”

Mr Hatchell-Brown, a truck driver of more than 40 years, slammed his brakes on and tried to move from the path of the oncoming vehicle.

“I had the truck right over from the line but I couldn’t get much further away,” he said.

“He just came past the front door near the bullbar.

“If he had have been another foot across and hit me head on it would have been another story.

“He was lucky that he didn’t hit the truck head on.”

Mr Hatchell-Brown said he took fire extinguishers from his truck and approached the vehicle after the crash.

“I went to the car to make sure it wasn’t going to catch fire,” he said.

“I’m a CFA member so (fire) sort of springs to mind.

“But there wasn’t much else I could do, the driver was trapped in the car and two paramedics arrived to get him.

“He was knocked about a little bit and had cuts on his face.

“I’d say the airbag could have saved his life.

“He may have had the cruise control on, he hit very hard.”

The Territory driver and his passenger girlfriend were taken to Bendigo Hospital. 

Mr Hatchell-Brown was uninjured and drove his truck home to Strath Creek. 

The Territory driver was recovering in hospital in a stable condition on Monday and his girlfriend was released. 

Mr Hatchell Brown said it had been the second major crash he had been involved in, but said he would not be deterred from driving. 

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