Runaway truck makes house call
By ANDY PARKS firstname.lastname@example.org MARIE GILES was gardening in the front yard of her house in Sandalwood Avenue near Caniaba on Tuesday afternoon when she noticed something wrong.
Across the road she saw two desperate-looking men running alongside a truck with no one in the driver's seat.
The runaway truck had a trailer carrying a Bobcat and an excavator. As Marie watched, the truck rolled down the hill and smashed into a vacant house.
The entire front of the house was crushed, the impact pushing a 4WD car in the garage of the house into the lounge room.
Police say a contractor working on a vacant house site up the hill was preparing to move the tipper truck and trailer when the engine of the truck stopped.
The driver applied the park brake on and got out. He then opened the cab of the truck to examine the engine.
When he tilted the cabin of the truck forward, the brakes disengaged, allowing gravity to do the rest.
"I saw it rolling and heard the noise as it ran over Alex's (Mitchell) driveway and saw it smash into the house," Marie said
Alex Mitchell lives next door. He was out at the time of the accident, but his wife Jill was at home with their five-year-old son Charlie.
"She said there was a huge noise, like someone dropping a load of gravel right at the front door," Mr Mitchell said. The noise was heard at least a kilometre away, and more than 100 residents came out to examine the damage.
The owners were en route from Brisbane at the time and another neighbour called them to inform them of the accident.
Electricity was cut to several houses in the vicinity and Country Energy, the Rural Fire Service, the SES and Police Rescue all attended the scene. Police said there will be further investigations with some action expected, but at this stage no charges have been laid.
A police spokesperson said they didn't want to remove the truck because they were unsure of structural damage to the house.
The incident has been referred to the owner's insurance company.