Highway creamed as truck hits road tunnel
By SAMANTHA HEALY
ICE-CREAM was strewn across 250 metres of the Pacific Highway yesterday after a refrigeration truck crashed at the entrance to the Cudgen Road tunnel, blocking northbound lanes for more than 10 hours.
Tweed Police Inspector Ross Wilkinson said the accident occurred at 5.30am after the truck hit the right-hand side of the tunnel entrance, splitting in to several pieces before coming to a halt.
The male driver was lucky to escape with minor injuries and was transferred to hospital by paramedics shortly after 6am.
"The B-double trailer disintegrated when the cabin impacted with the northern part of the underpass," Insp Wilkinson said.
"Ice-cream was strewn across the north and southbound lanes and traffic was diverted immediately.
"We do not expect any major traffic delays and environmental concerns were dealt with by NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB), HAZMAT and the Rural Fire Service (RFS)."
NSWFB Northern Rivers Inspector Alan Johnston said the crash had posed problems for firefighters and clean-up crews due to airborne fibreglass material.
"The composite materials used in the cabin and the refrigeration trailer van caused problems and we must prevent an airborne hazard," Insp Johnston said.
"Firefighters wore masks and assisted in the clean-up. We also formed an incident management team."
Firefighters also laid absorbent booms across drains and decanted diesel from the truck's ruptured fuel tank.
"There was pressure for us to reopen the road, but we will do it properly and do it safely," Insp Johnston said.
The cause of the accident was not known.
Bobcats and dump trucks were brought in to clean up and dispose of the sugary spillage, and Tweed Shire Council street sweepers were on hand to wash the road down.