Members of the public saved passengers from a burning vehicle following a major crash in Wentworth Falls on March 12.
Police are still investigating what caused the accident but say a semi-trailer was heading east on the highway at about 7pm, approaching the busy traffic lights at Station Street, when it crashed into the rear of a stationary Toyota Lexcen.
The force of the impact propelled the car into the rear of a Mitsubishi Triton ute which tipped onto its driver’s side and slid 10 metres further along the road.
The prime mover’s diesel tank was ruptured, spilling fuel onto the roadway and the Toyota caught fire, but fortunately the two occupants were able to get out safely.
The two people travelling in the ute also escaped the terrifying ordeal with only minor injuries.
The truck driver was not injured and a breath test conducted by police returned a negative result.
The truck was taken to a Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) heavy vehicle inspection centre to check it for any defects.
Blue Mountains police praised two young women who offered to assist with directing eastbound traffic at the intersection while officers were busy examining the wreckage.
The highway was closed in both directions well into the night as Fire and Rescue NSW personnel extinguished the fires and made the roadway area safe and police began investigating.
One witness who saw the truck approaching the intersection and heard a horn sounding just before the crash posted on Blue Mountains police’s Facebook site: “A big thanks (to) the people who pulled those two young guys out of that burning car which, by the time the fire trucks arrived, was completely engulfed.”
“People acted swiftly and put themselves in extreme danger to pull those guys out of the flaming wreckage — it was amazing.”
Police say they spoke to witnesses at the scene and their investigation is ongoing.
A Roads and Maritime Service inspection carried out at the Mount Boyce Heavy Vehicle Checking Station after the crash found “no other major faults” other than a ruptured fuel tank caused in the crash.
“Roads and Maritime inspectors found a brake adjustment was required and one tyre had insufficient tread depth. A kingpin inspection was also required as a result of the crash,” said an RMS spokesperson.
Anyone who witnessed the crash or has any information about should call Katoomba Police on 4782-8199 or Crime Stoppers on 1800-333-000.”
The crash was the second involving a truck on the highway last week, with a motorcyclist escaping injury when his bike was hit from behind by a semi-trailer in Blackheath on Saturday, March 8.