Quick-thinking Toodyay truck driver saves cargo — and life — after fire rips through cab
A daring truck driver in WA’s Mid West has escaped injury and saved his cargo after climbing into a burning cab to detach two trailers.
Police said the 52-year-old from Toodyay was driving west on Mount Magnet-Sandstone Road on Thursday, about 110km east of Mount Magnet, when he felt his feet getting hot.
“He noticed there was heat coming through the floor, so he slowed and then realised fire and smoke was coming from underneath the truck,” Sergeant Mike Dearnley of Mount Magnet Police said.
“He’s then stopped and separated the prime mover from the trailers, and then tried to move it forward to protect the trailers.”
Sgt Dearnley said when the driver realised he could do nothing to stop the flames, he acted quickly.
“He got back into the burning truck and was able to move it far enough away from the trailers and then jump out,” he said.
The blaze then took complete hold, consuming the cab and burning it to a pile of scrap and ashes.
By the time police arrived about 6.40pm, firefighters from Sandstone Bushfire Brigade had all but extinguished the flames.
Sgt Dearnley praised the quick thinking of the driver, who had been travelling from the Thunderbox Gold Mine, 40 km east of Leinster.
“It was a split second decision,” he said. “He’s definitely protected the loads he was towing.
“He had no burns, nothing like that. He might have inhaled a fair bit of smoke, but he’s of the belief that he’s okay.”
Sgt Dearnley said the cause of the fire was unknown and would likely be difficult to determine.
“It’ll be undetermined, I think, because there’s nothing left of it,” he said.
“All I see left is a roo bar and a chassis.”
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