Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Collision leaves driver dead, road closed

The Hume Fwy was closed in both directions for almost 24 hours yesterday after a crash at Violet Town that killed a Benalla man on Thursday night.

FIONA BROOM September 15, 2012 4:40am

The crash occurred after a B-double petrol tanker heading north along the Hume Fwy jackknifed and rolled on Thursday night.

The Hume Fwy was closed in both directions for almost 24 hours yesterday after a crash at Violet Town that killed a Benalla man on Thursday night.

The 53-year-old man was heading north in a B-double petrol tanker carrying diesel about 11pm when the truck jackknifed, rolled and landed on its side.

Police believe the man was killed instantly.

The tanker began leaking its two-tank load of fuel on the Hume Fwy about 1km south of the Violet Town exit.

Shepparton police Highway Patrol Sergeant Jeffrey Kyne said a woman believed to be in her 20s driving a sedan hit the patch of petrol and skidded into the tanker.

‘‘She’s been smart enough and lucky enough to be able to get out of her vehicle without any injures and she’s gone to the middle of the road where she’s phoned some services,’’ he said.

‘‘But in the time that she’s been making that call we’ve had another B-double also heading northbound come along and hit the diesel and he’s collided into the back of her car and also into the overturned tanker.’’

Traffic adviser Senior Sergeant Ralph Willingham said the woman was not injured and the second truck driver, believed to be aged in his early 60s, received non-life threatening injuries.

The fuel was covered with foam, while hazardous chemicals crews from Dandenong monitored vapour levels.

The southbound lane reopened about 5pm yesterday, while the northbound lane was expected to reopen late last night.

The Country Fire Authority issued a warning to nearby residents to take shelter indoors, close all exterior doors, windows and vents, and turn heating and cooling systems off.

Petrol could be smelt in Violet Town and the State Emergency Service doorknocked to tell people to turn off pilot lights and other ignition sources.

CFA district 22 operations officer Shane Sutton said the clean-up would take considerable time as the petrol spill had to be secured then removed.

Once the fuel was removed the trucks were righted with cranes and towed by prime movers.

He said there would be crews working at the site for about a week.

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