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Truck crash near Ballina

2nd October 2007

Early this morning a head-on collision occurred between two trucks approximately 15 kilometres south of Ballina. The impact of the accident forced the southbound B-Double to break through road barriers and career into the Richmond River where it rolled onto its side and became completely submerged. The Hazmat crew from Goonellabah and firefighters from Ballina responded to deal with the potential environmental impact of the fuel and load in the river. Fire crews used the Hazmat boat to place four inflatable booms around the submerged truck to prevent diesel from the fuel tanks from spreading into the river. Salvage operations continued the next day and involved two cranes brought down from the Gold Coast. Salvage dive crews and firefighters constantly re-positioning the booms as the tide changed and winds affected the booms' location. The Pacific Highway was closed in both directions during this time creating major traffic headaches for the school holiday makers travelling up and down the North Coast. The driver of the B-Double remarkably escaped from the submerged cab of the truck with minor injuries. The driver of the northbound truck suffered serious injuries. Both drivers were transported to local hospitals.