It should have been a routine job for the experts tasked with removing the Isuzu curtainsider from its precarious position on the westbound side of Eastern Drive in Gatton, Queensland.
But more than 24 hours later (December 13) the truck was still stuck there, with multiple local and state agencies seemingly at loggerheads over who is responsible, says our source on the spot, Gatton-based truckies’ campaigner Wes Walker.
Walker told us the police attended first, quickly passing the buck to the local council which promptly handballed the job to the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
With nearby powerlines in play for the crane needed to stop the truck tipping completely over in the salvage operation, Walker understands RoadTek was then alerted before Energy Queensland was looped in to switch off the power.
“Talk about passing the buck,” said a frustrated Walker.
“To close this road down during the day is a bad move. There are so many detours needed to get around this and so many more stop-and-go staff.
“If they’d done this last night when there wasn’t as much traffic, they could have had this thing out of here in an hour.”
Walker understands that the incident occured when the driver of the Isuzu pulled over on to the grass verge to avoid a long line of cars that came to an abrupt halt.
“He thought he was doing the right thing with the cars coming to a stop ahead of him, but the grass was too high and he didn’t see the embankment.”
Walker said the truck should be gone by tonight, but in the meantime he reports that traffic is heavier than usual in the area due to “sticky-beak” motorists slowing down to take a closer look.
He also sent us this picture of a mower that suddenly appeared this morning to cut the long roadside grass.
TMR has been approached for comment.
Update – December 14, 12.30pm:
A TMR spokesperson advises that it is the responsibility of the vehicle’s registered owner to remove a vehicle from the roadside. This vehicle is in the process of being removed.
“TMR closely monitors roadside vegetation to ensure there is no obstruction to visibility and slashing is routinely undertaken under TMR’s Road Maintenance Performance Contract.”