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A TRUCK driver who was stopped by police and told to secure his load on a busy western Sydney roadway yesterday was struck and killed by another truck as he stumbled into a lane of traffic.
Shocked police watched as the driver “fell, stumbled or stepped back’’ into the path of the oncoming semi-trailer as he went about securing his load under the instructions of the highway patrol officer who pulled him over.
The struck driver, believed to be aged in his 50s, was treated by paramedics but died at the scene on Vardys Rd, Kings Park near Blacktown. The distressed driver of the semi that struck the man was taken to hospital for mandatory blood and urine testing.
The tragedy, which occurred about 10.20am, is now the subject of a police critical incident investigation.
According to police, a highway patrol officer pulled the first driver over to the side of the road to secure his load about 10 minutes before he was struck.
While still securing his load, it is believed he somehow walked or fell into a lane of oncoming traffic.
An eyewitness said the driver appeared to be agitated and upset because he was getting a ticket.
“He was waving his arms in the air … he was flicking the rope over the back of his tray, he just let go and sort of fell back and come under the back of the truck,” the witness told Channel 7.
The man’s legs were crushed by the back wheels of the passing semi-trailer and he then went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived.
Assistant Police Commissioner Denis Clifford said there was nothing to indicate the driver had been ordered to pull over by police at an inappropriate location.
“Police are out there every day pulling over vehicles, it just shows what a dangerous place a roadway is,” he said.
“We’d love to say, ‘what if this happened, what if that happened’ (but) you just can’t turn back the clock and, tragically, a man has lost his life out there.
“We have to examine every aspect of it, put it to the coroner, the coroner will make a determination about all the facts and the cause of death and so forth … it’s just a terrible tragic accident.”
Police and Roads and Maritime Services authorities spent hours inspecting the semi-trailer’s lights, wheels, tyres and brakes at the scene to determine if any mechanical fault played a part in the incident.
The victim’s own truck was removed from the scene five hours later.
Police were last night in the process of contacting the man’s family and are urging witnesses to come forward.
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