A fatal truck crash on the Pacific Highway south of the Ross Lane exit.
A fatal truck crash on the Pacific Highway south of the Ross Lane exit. Patrick Gorbunovs

Truckie becomes ninth life lost on our roads this year

A TRUCK driver has died after losing control of a prime mover towing an excavator on the Pacific Hwy north of Ballina.

It's the ninth life lost on local roads since the start of this year.

Ambulance NSW Brunswick Valley zone Inspector Greg Powell said emergency services were called to the Pacific Hwy, south of Ross Lane, at 3.30pm yesterday after reports of the crash.

Insp Powell said it was a miracle no other vehicles were involved.

"A prime mover with a low loader carrying large earthmoving equipment has veered left and hit a crossover barrier," he said.

"It then travelled a further 300m, taking out a large road sign before coming to rest."

Once it stopped, the truck was in a jack-knifed position across both lanes of the highway, blocking northbound traffic.

Police, paramedics and NSW Fire and Rescue raced to the scene.

"It was extremely fortunate no other vehicles were involved, given the size of the truck and the load it was carrying," Insp Powell said.

Insp Powell said a police officer and a bystander performed CPR on the 60-year-old truck driver until paramedics arrived.

"On assessment by paramedics it was determined that the patient could not be resuscitated," he said.

The NSW Fire and Rescue Goonellabah Hazmat unit was called to clean up more than 300 litres of diesel that spilled from the truck onto the highway.

Reports from the scene said a crane would be needed to salvage the excavator. Northbound traffic was diverted through Ballina via River St, Kerr St and Tamarind Dr before rejoining the highway.

Anyone with any information about the crash can phone Ballina police on 6681 8699 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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