POLICE have praised the quick actions of a truck driver, who slammed on the brakes in time to reduce the impact of a car accident on Raglan Parade yesterday morning.
The semi-trailer and a hatchback collided as both vehicles attempted to merge into a single lane just before the Dennington overpass.
Busy traffic was disrupted for nearly an hour as emergency services worked to free a woman trapped inside a crumpled hatchback.
Acting Sergeant Rachel Field, of Warrnambool highway patrol, said the woman was lucky to be alive after the driver’s side of the car took much of the impact.
“At this stage it is still under investigation,” Acting Sergeant Field said.
“It appears both vehicles, the semi-trailer and the car, have been travelling westbound on Raglan Parade.
“They’ve both attempted to merge and we’re still unsure as to if there is any fault.
“It’s probably very lucky. There’s damage to the truck and extensive damage to the car.
“I commend him (the truck driver) for the actions that he took. Had he been travelling faster it could have been a different result.”
The woman received non-life threatening injuries.
“Witnesses estimate that the truck was only travelling at about 60 kilometres an hour at the time and that is probably what has resulted in her having the injuries she has, as opposed to it being more serious.”
Acting Sergeant Field said the truck driver’s “ability to be able to deviate away” had also lessened the impact.
An unmarked police car discovered the accident shortly after 11am and raised the alarm.
SES crews and the CFA had to remove the roof and doors of the car to rescue the woman who was taken to Warrnambool Base Hospital.
“We’ve taken extensive photos and we need to identify those and have a look at the skid marks and lengths to be able to estimate speeds,” Acting Sergeant Field said.
She urged drivers to pay close attention when merging or changing lanes on the highway.
“We just ask that all drivers are diligent,” Acting Sergeant Field said.
“When you’re merging from two lanes into one, pay attention. Check all your blind spots before merging in front.”