Driver survives after truck takes a tumble
A GRAVEL truck driver has survived a wild ride after crashing down a steep gully near Kyogle.
Last night the man, 56, was in a serious but stable condition in a Brisbane hospital.
He was rescued after his truck slipped off a narrow mountain track, overturning and landing back on its wheels before sliding 70 metres down a steep gully slope.
The driver called for help on his radio when one wheel of his truck was left dangling off the edge of the gully, moments before its terrifying plunge over the side.
Police will also investigate whether the truck flipped end-over-end before landing on its side.
The two-hour rescue effort took place yesterday at a remote eucalyptus plantation five kilometres from Kyogle along Yangurra Road.
Kyogle police officer Senior Constable Mick McCormack said the driver was from the Grafton area.
He has injuries to the head and neck and possibly the spine.
Snr Const McCormack said the driver, while trapped inside the cabin, was lapsing in and out of consciousness.
Although details had not been confirmed, Snr Const McCormack said he was told the man sent out a radio call for help saying one wheel of his truck was over the edge. But before a dozer driver could come to his aid the truck toppled over.
He said the truck's dashboard had to be removed to get the injured driver out through the missing windscreen.
The driver was working on track improvements to improve access into the Forest Enterprises Australia managed tree plantation.
Snr Const McCormack said police got the emergency call at 8am.
Rescue crews had to negotiate the rough, steep and winding gravel track to access the site.
Rescue crews included the SES, police, ambulance and paramedics with the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.
The injured driver and a paramedic were winched into the helicopter hovering 33 metres above the crash site.
Chief pilot Lynton Beggs said the rescue was done in turbulent conditions, made difficult because of the hilly terrain and strong wind gusts.