A truck driver who allegedly mowed down a group of five mates on a street – leaving two fighting for life – and then drove on for 23km says he had no idea he had hit anyone.
His employer said they are advised the 64-year-old heavy haulage truck driver ‘maintains he was unaware of the incident’ at Southbank in Melbourne on Thursday night.
‘Our thoughts are with the people and families of those involved,’ K&S CEO Paul Sarant said on Friday.
Paramedics are seen swarming the scene on Thursday night (pictured) as they battled to save the group and rush them to hospital
The company said in addition to the police investigation it was undertaking an internal workplace health and safety investigation into the incident.
‘We’re advised the driver maintains he was unaware of the incident’.
‘He has been working for the company for nearly 10 years and was on his way to the depot in a company truck at the end of his shift.’
The truck driver did not stop to help the injured pedestrians after the crash near the intersection of City Road and Power Street at Southbank about 7pm Thursday night.
While performing a left-hand turn, the B-double tanker is believed to have cut the corner and mounted the footpath before taking out the traffic light, which fell to the ground.
Four men and a woman, all believed to be aged in their 20s to 30s, suffered lower body injuries in the crash and were taken to hospital.
Two of the men are critically injured, while the three other pedestrians are in a serious but stable condition.
A motorist who saw the crash followed the truck as it continued to travel along Power Street.
A man cradling a woman in his arms is seen speaking to paramedics at the scene of the crash on Thursday night, which left five people in hospital
The information they relayed helped police track down the truck at Truganina in the city’s outer west and arrest the driver.
The truck driver from Wyndham Vale is being interviewed by police, with charges yet to be laid.
‘It appears that he’s cut the corner and in doing so he has taken out a traffic control signal pole as well as a group of pedestrians,’ Detective Sergeant Darren Williams said.
Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp described the crash as ‘horrendous’ and said she had contacted Roads Minister Ben Carroll and local state MP Martin Foley to discuss ‘urgent safety measures’.
‘We need to work together to fix this intersection and make it safer for Southbank residents and workers,’ she tweeted.
Horrifying images from the scene shows medical equipment strewn across the road as paramedics desperately tried to help the group, with a battered traffic light showing the force of the impact.
Nearby residents recalled hearing harrowing screams as people rushed to help those injured.
Images from the scene (pictured on Thursday night) show total devastation, with a traffic light smashed to the ground and bicycles abandoned as Melburnians fled the horror
Pictured: The Southbank intersection where the truck smashed into the pedestrians and a traffic light
One witness told 9 News the sound of the crash was like a bomb going off.
‘It was one of the loudest bangs I’ve ever heard,’ he said.
He then described the intersection falling silent for ‘about 10 seconds’ before people started screaming.
He then rushed over to help along with a nearby doctor who lifted up a traffic light which had fallen down.
‘Unfortunately for this young female, it was crushing her pelvis – as the doctor lifted it up I’ve picked her up and just put her on my lap, on the side just to wait for help,’ he said.
Another witness to the scene followed the B-double truck and contacted police late on Thursday night with his whereabouts and he was then arrested in Truganina, 23km away.
The two men in a critical condition were taken to The Alfred hospital, with one suffering extensive low leg injuries.
The others, who also suffered lower body injuries, were taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
All of the group of five, four men and one woman all in their 20s and 30s, are now in hospital – with two in a critical condition (pictured, police at the scene on Thursday night)