‘In case you were wondering… it was me’: Truck driver explains how he crashed his raised trailer into a bridge – causing a seven-hour traffic jam that even made his sister late to work
- Mark Plummer, 55, crashed his truck into a six-metre highway overpass in Perth
- Crash sheared the trailer and tray off and caused a kilometres-long traffic jam
- But he insists the tray popped up by itself seconds earlier due to a fault
A truck driver has explained how he crashed the raised tray of his rig into a highway overpass, causing a seven-hour traffic jam.
Mark Plummer, 65, was driving his Perth Bin Hire truck along the Tonkin Highway in Redcliffe and ploughed into the 6m-high bridge.
CCTV showed the semi-trailer’s tray raised more than 45 degrees as it zoomed along at 90km/h about 5.20am on Thursday, taking out the camera on impact.
Thousands of cars were trapped in a traffic jam several kilometres long as the road was closed for two hours and clogged for seven.
A truck crashed its raised trailer into a highway overpass in Perth, with the force of the impact shearing the tray clean off along with the entire trailer
Mark Plummer, 65, admitted to Perth commuters: ‘In case anyone was wondering who was driving the truck, it was me’
Mr Plummer admitted to Perth commuters: ‘In case anyone was wondering who was driving the truck, it was me.
‘My ears were burning hot (from motorists angry at him). I even made my sister 45 minutes late for work.’
The force of the impact, which woke up families several suburbs away, sheared the tray clean off along with the entire trailer.
‘I was overwhelmed that someone behind me may have just been killed,’ Mr Plummer, who was unhurt in the accident, admitted.
However, the veteran truckie insisted the crash was not his fault and the tray was popped up by a fault in the brand-new rig’s hydraulics system.
CCTV showed the semi-trailer’s tray raised more than 45 degrees as it zoomed along at 90km/h about 5.20am on Thursday, taking out the camera on impact
Thousands of cars were trapped in a traffic jam several kilometres long as the road was closed for two hours and clogged for seven
He explained that the fault would have engaged the power takeoff system, activating the tipper valve that raised the tray.
‘Everything was turned off, everything checked the night before and I videoed everything,’ he said.
‘It’s fully automatic. It won’t even change from first gear with the PTO on. The yard CCTV will show me running it for 15 minutes before leaving.
‘I know i did nothing wrong.’
Initial news reports wrongly claimed it was Mr Plummer’s first day on the job when he had worked for the company since January 2019.
But it was the first day he, or anyone else, used the truck and he admitted him trying to get a feel for its advanced features may have delayed him noticing the tray was up.
The impact left deep scratches in the concrete overpass that will cost thousands to fix
The remains of some of the trailer that was destroyed by the crash
However, he insisted the lights never showed the tray was up and he checked his mirror within a minute or so of the crash.
Main Roads was less than impressed with this explanation as it tries to figure out what went wrong.
‘It just astounds me that he didn’t know that his trailer was extended,’ a spokesman told reporters at the scene.
‘There may have been a malfunction within the cabin, we’re not sure… We have investigators talking to the company right now.’
The crash caused about $150,000 damage to the truck and the company could be fined $200,000 by Main Roads WA to pay for road repairs.
‘[My boss] is upset and I don’t blame him at all. It was a big shock to the system,’ Mr Plummer said.
Mr Plummer insisted the lights never showed the tray was up and he checked his mirror within a minute or so of the crash
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