Sunday, February 14, 2010

Runaway trailer unstoppable

A HOBART motorist says it is astonishing nobody was killed by a runaway Southern Water trailer.

The trailer destroyed his car and a utility pole at Derwent Park.

The trailer was being towed along Derwent Park Rd on Tuesday afternoon when it broke loose and careened out of control down the street, firefighter Darren Hill said.

"The truck was heading west and the trailer A-frame has separated from the trailer," he said.

"He's started to slow down and the trailer has passed him and come across into the opposing direction of traffic and has hit the telegraph pole and my car at the same time."

The front of the two-year-old Suzuki Swift was crushed by the impact.

"You've got 2½ tonnes rolling at that speed, the kinetic energy is just unstoppable," Mr Hill said.

"My car was pushed 30 metres back against the flow of traffic into Gormanston Rd.

"The car was in park, the handbrake was applied and it has still pushed it 30 metres along the road.

"It was immensely dangerous.

"They had to replace the power pole. We were just lucky school was out and no one was injured.

"If that had happened in North Hobart with all the outdoor dining it would have been an absolute massacre."

Southern Water's manager of urban wastewater Len Bester said the incident appeared to be a freak accident.

"The trailer in question is leased and it's only a bit over one year old. It's used for high water-pressure drain cleaning so it's a fairly heavy trailer," he said.

"It's not one we would expect to be doing too many inspections on.

"It wasn't overloaded or anything like that. It hasn't been modified.

"We had the unit inspected and things like that but it's just one of those things where the drawbar just snapped off completely."

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