Location: Manning Valley
Date: November 2011
November 22, 2011. Below is a paste of what I wrote on Waffle
yesterday about the LP gas tanker crash just outside my house in
Taree. But first, let me explain a few things. Just after the crash
occurred at about 6:30am, and before police arrived, a bloke in a truck
drove up the street not realizing what had happened and didn't see a dangling
live wire until he struck it with his windscreen. He backed off quick smart
and was told by a cop who had just arrived to get out of his truck and
stand on the footpath. Later, the same cop told the driver to go back to
his truck and turn off the engine. You'll see the truck in the first and
third pics of the album. Other than that, the pics are all pretty much
self-explanatory. Now, here's the paste and the link to the album at the
end. If you've already read it, you can scroll down and go straight to
Up at sparrow's this morning for some reason. Made a cuppa, checked
email, etc, then went back to my bedroom where I heard a helluva loud bang,
followed by a second very loud bang, and then some kind of noisy ruckus
at the front of the house that sounded like a serious collision. I took
a peek out the window and saw a power pole just 10 or 15 yards away, snapped
at the base and hanging by the overhead wires, some of which were loose
and causing sparks. I went straight to the phone in the middle room (my
office) and phoned Triple O (emergency). I was quite shaken and having
some difficulty collecting my thoughts. The person who answered the phone
asked me to describe what happened, and I told her, except that I couldn't
see a thing from where I was. So she asked me to leave the phone and check
out the scene. It was a large LP gas tanker up on the nature strip right
in front of our house. Lindsay has already bolted outside and was chatting
to some other bloke. "Anyone injured?" I asked but they ignored me in favor
of continuing their chat about what happened. So I yelled as loud as I
could. "IS ANYBODY INJURED?" The answer was no, so I ran back inside and
finished the call to emergency.
I soon discovered that the large tanker had collided with a car and
trailer parked two houses down the road. That was the first bang. Then
the truck pushed the car and trailer up the road until the truck hit a
power pole in front of the house next door, snapping it off at its base.
By the time the driver (whom I assume had nodded off) realized what was
happening, he'd pushed the car and trailer 80 meters further on, and half
way across the roundabout in front of our house. The base of power pole
had been moved several meters so that it was sitting in my driveway between
the fence and the roadway. The only thing holding it semi-upright was the
wires. Damage to the front of the truck was minimal... a bent bullbar and
a broken windscreen. The car's rear end was pushed in by the force of the
trailer being hit so hard, and the petrol tank had been ruptured, which
spilled fuel all over the road.
Can you imagine what would have happened if the truck had hit the second
power pole (which it missed by just inches) and brought down the lines,
with the resultant sparks igniting the petrol? We're talking umpteen liters
of liquefied gas in that tanker, ladies and genitals. It would have blown
a giant crater in the ground and this house would have been reduced to
splinters and rubble. And I wouldn't be here writing this Waffle. I'm here
to tellya, ya don't have to go lookin' for trouble, mate. It can find you
easy enough even when you're having a morning cuppa in quiet li'l ol' Taree.
It's also quite possible that the truck could have veered a little more
to the left which would have sent it careering into the front of this house.
Anyway, when I calmed down a little (it was quite a shock), I grabbed
the camera and started taking a few pics. By then, about 7am, the cops
and a fire truck had arrived on the scene, and one of the cops told me
to get back inside because of the leaking fuel. So I went out the back
door and around the side of the house to take more pics hehe. Then the
power company trucks arrived and people were everywhere. It was all very
interesting really, and I proceeded to take more pics as the morning progressed.
It was about 2pm before power was restored. Meanwhile, I got a pretty good
look at how well organized those power crews are. It was like a precision
military operation, with each bloke knowing exactly what he had to do.
The professional coordination was most impressive. Within a few hours,
they had the old pole out and a new pole in, ready to have everything reattached
and secured. While one bloke was doing one job, another was doing another
job, and another doing something else... but it was all very well coordinated.
I spoke to one of the guys and congratulated him on the team effort.
"We do this kinda thing every day, mate. We're used to it." The guys were
also working in light rain and drizzle, and hadn't had a break for several
hours. The bloke also mentioned how close the truck had been to creating
a major disaster by missing the second pole by just inches. "Otherwise
it would have been goodnight Irene," he said. He also suggested that the
driver had been overcome by fatigue and had nodded off. I agreed. I'd say
that driver is now in deep shit with both his employer and the law. He
must have been in shock when he finally realized what a trail of devastation
he'd left behind - all in just 5 or 10 seconds. Had it been an hour or
so later, there would have been more traffic, not to mention pedestrians,
and more devastation. Click
here for the photo album.
November 9, 2011. Here I go again. I found this old 1925/6 Dodge
Buckboard on a newsgroup. Original condition, still going, and registered
in Queensland Oz. Now THAT would be something to tour Oz in! A real head-turner.
here for the photo album.
November 6, 2011. Yesterday, I took delivery of a 1993 XG Ford
Falcon Longreach ute (utility). The seller wanted $2850 but it needs a
few jobs done... new windscreen and valve guide seals so he dropped the
price to $2000. It's not a bad rig... ex-country car with no rust and drives
really well, smooth as a baby's bum. 4-speed auto, electronic ignition,
fuel injected, power windows, power steering, power brakes, sports steering
wheel, air conditioning, CD player and Sunraysia wheels. And a lockable
fibreglass canopy. Not bad, ay?
There's a bit of a ding in the tailgate and a blob of birdshit on the
bonnet. But don't worry about that. Wait a sec! That's not birdshit...
that's a jacaranda petal!
My latest thinking is to forget about campervans and towing anything.
Somewhere down the track I'll buy a used slide-on camper and slip it on
the back of the ute. Voila! Ready to rock and roll.
here for the photo album.
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