Driver lives with memory of crash

Gareth ThomasAlbany Advertiser

With the latest harvest season wrapping up, the peak number of trucks on Great Southern roads has passed but for some road train operators, the near misses and crashes out on the roads have a lasting effect.

The road toll across the region for 2016 was the highest in more than a decade, with several crashes involving trucks in some way.

A former road-train driver, who left the industry after be-ing involved in a serious crash along Albany Highway in 2014, says even though the crash was not his fault, he still lives with the incident.

John McMullan was turning his dual-trailer log truck into a plantation north of the Albany regional airport when a ute slammed into the side him.

“As I was turning and the cab came around this vehicle … I just remember seeing this flash and we crashed,” he said.

The crash left the ute badly damaged and the two occupants needed to be cut from the wreckage.

“I thought the passenger was dead,” Mr McMullan said.

Psychological assessments after the crash have determined Mr McMullan has developed a phobia of driving trucks.

“I don’t have PTSD or anything like that,” he said.

Mr McMullan said he would not operate road trains anymore as it was too dangerous.

“It was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me because every day you see someone doing something unexpected or stupid,” he said. “You’re already driving to the best of your ability and something like that can still happen.”

Mr McMullan, who has four children and is unemployed, is still waiting on a resolution to an ongoing insurance settlement dispute but said he had completed a Certificate III in music at TAFE last year and would be going for his Certificate IV this semester.

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