Chaos after truck and tractor collide in Waaia

By Liz Mellino

Police said a man was lucky to be alive after the tractor he was driving and a B-double truck collided in Waaia on Friday night.

The man, 51, driving a blue New Holland tractor was travelling south along Katamatite-Nathalia Rd about 8.30pm when the collision occurred.

Numurkah police’s Sergeant Tim Gleeson said a B-double truck was travelling in the same direction at the time of the collision.

‘‘The truck has then run off south into a paddock and the tractor has been pushed about 70m up the road and almost disintegrated on impact.’’

Soon after, a car being driven by a women in her 40s travelling in the opposite direction collided with the tractor, which had come to a stop in the middle of the road.

‘‘A car coming the other way saw the truck in the paddock and didn’t see the tractor and went bang into the tractor,’’ Sgt Gleeson said.

‘‘The driver was trapped in the car and debris was strewn all over the road.’’

Police, along with State Emergency Service personal, attended the scene and had to cut the car open to free the trapped woman.

Three CFA units from Nathalia and Waaia also attended to clean fuel from the road, which was leaking from the vehicles.

Sgt Gleeson said the road remained closed for seven hours as the debris was cleared, with VicRoads attending to put diversions in place.

Paramedics were called to treat the three drivers at the scene who were later transported by road ambulance to Goulburn Valley Health.

The truck driver, 75, was taken to hospital in a stable condition with suspected back injuries, the tractor driver was taken to hospital in a stable condition with injuries to his chest and ribs, and the driver of the car was taken to hospital in a stable condition with injuries to her chest and hip.

‘‘It is absolutely incredible that no-one was seriously injured or killed,’’ Sgt Gleeson said.

While the investigation remains ongoing, Sgt Gleeson urged anyone who witnessed the collision or who may have seen the tractor travelling along Katamatite-Nathalia Rd before the collision to contact police.

He reminded road users to remain vigilant on country roads and be aware of any slow-moving machinery.

‘‘People need to be aware of very slow-moving machinery on the roads; farmers are seeding now and people need to be mindful of them,’’ Sgt Gleeson said.

‘‘Drive to the conditions and be aware of other slow-moving farm machinery.’’

Anyone with information is urged to phone Numurkah Police Station on 58623311.