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Drivers lucky after mixer smashes into B-doubles

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HIGHWAY CARNAGE: It took emergency workers 20 minutes to free the driver from the wreckage of the badly damaged concrete truck. Photos: LEANNE CHURCHILL

THREE men narrowly escaped death after a concrete truck smashed into two B-double trucks at 100km/h yesterday.

Police and SES workers said it was a miracle the concrete truck driver survived after he had to be cut from the wreckage and flown to hospital.

Emergency services were called to the Bellarine Highway, near Brinsmead Lane, at Leopold just before noon.

The drivers of the two B-double trucks, which had been parked on the side of the road, were reading a map just before the truck rammed into their vehicles.

Senior Sergeant Angelo Ferrara, of Bellarine Police, said it was a horrific scene.

"The two B-doubles were parked and the drivers standing between the two trucks were consulting a map when the mixer slammed into the back of the first truck, just missed the men, then finished up entangled in the second truck," Sen Sgt Ferrara said.

"(The driver of the concrete truck) was conscious and trapped under the steering wheel when we arrived.

"He's very lucky to be alive."

Police closed the Geelong-bound lanes of the Bellarine Highway for more than six hours while the man was cut free and the three trucks were towed from the scene.

Traffic was diverted north down Bawtree Rd into Portarlington Rd.

Queenscliff-bound lanes were also temporarily closed while a helicopter landed and transported the injured man, believed to be in his 50s, to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne.

The two B-doubles were from South Australia.

An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said the injured man was flown in a stable condition to the hospital.

SES officer Scott Clark said emergency personnel had to use hydraulic equipment to cut the man free from his badly damaged vehicle.

"SES rescue crews, together with CFA rescue officers, worked to assist ambulance paramedics to extricate the patient by removing the steering wheel and lowering him down on to a waiting spinal board," Mr Clark said.

"Certainly, with the amount of damage sustained to the passenger side of the truck, it was extremely lucky that there were no passengers in the truck.

"A total of 14 SES volunteers responded to the incident."

Mr Clark said it took about 20 minutes to free the driver.

"He is a very, very lucky man," he said.

Source: Geelong Advertiser

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