Highway chaos: Truck inferno, grass fire, crash within 50m
A FOUR-VEHICLE crash right next to the scene of a truck inferno caused chaos on the Bruce Hwy near Aussie World at Palmview yesterday.
Emergency services were called to the northbound Frizzo Rd exit at 12.16pm after a truck driver pulled over to inspect smoke coming from his engine.
Sandale Saddlery staff member Billie-Jo Gould heard the truck stop on the highway exit lane in front of her store. "We looked out and there was a bit of smoke pluming out of the bonnet," Miss Gould said.
"The driver got out and got in front of the truck and then next thing there were a whole heap of flames coming out."
Miss Gould said it had taken about 10 minutes for the truck, which was carrying metal components, fire retardant and hydraulic oil, to be fully engulfed.
Her business and other neighbouring businesses were evacuated for fear of explosions.
A police officer called to the scene said flames were reaching up to 12 metres.
The truck and subsequent nearby grassfire were nearly extinguished when a four-vehicle crash occurred about 50m away on the Bruce Hwy.
Screeching tyres then two loud thuds were heard before a semi-trailer and a smaller truck ran off the highway into a median-strip ditch.
An expectant mother, 27 weeks into her pregnancy, had to be cut free from one of the two cars involved in the crash.
Caloundra Ambulance Station officer-in-charge Toni Careless said the woman had no injuries but had been taken to Nambour General Hospital as a precaution.
She said three people had been in the other car, including a man who was being driven home from hospital after a heart procedure.
"He was not injured but taken to hospital as a precaution," Ms Careless said.
Witness Dale Williamson had been parked behind the burnt-out truck on Frizzo Rd, waiting for the scene to be cleared.
He said one of the crash vehicles had slowed right down as it passed the scene of the truck fire.
"The truck driver, he did so well," Mr Williamson said.
"He hit that car unfortunately but he saved himself over there (median strip)."