Fresh appeal in deadly border crash

Detectives have issued a new appeal for witnesses after a deadly crash at a border checkpoint claimed the life of a South Australian truck driver.

Police have issued a fresh appeal for witnesses after a deadly truck fire at the Victorian and South Australian border checkpoint.

South Australian truck driver Steven Lawrie, 46, died when his B-double semi-trailer hit the back of another truck that was queuing to get across the border at Serviceton in western Victoria on February 11.

The stationary B-double truck was then pushed into another truck waiting in front of it.

All three trucks then caught fire.

Mr Lawrie, of Parafield Gardens, died at the scene, while the driver of the second truck, a 27-year-old man from Langford, Western Australia and his passenger, a 63-year-old man from Carey Park, Western Australia, were taken to hospital and have since been released.

The driver of the third truck, a 50-year-old man from Melton, Victoria, was uninjured.

The stationary trucks were waiting in a queue of trucks about 1.5km from the border checkpoint during the rush to escape Greater Melbourne after the South Australian government snapped the border shut following Victoria’s latest coronavirus outbreak.

The deadly crash occurred near the Western Highway border checkpoint about 2.20am on February 11.

The exact cause of the collision remains under investigation by Victoria Police major collision and heavy vehicle criminal investigation units.

South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens has also ordered an inquiry into border closure operations following the tragic incident.

Mr Stevens said the inquiry would examine the management of checkpoints, but he was not prepared to speculate about the cause of the crash.

He said they had a group of five officers on duty at the checkpoint during the day shift period, which was scaled back to three during the evening.

Detectives are now appealing for any interstate truck drivers who may have witnessed the crash to contact police as they try to piece together how it unfolded.

“Investigators believe truck drivers from either South Australia or New South Wales may be able to provide further information on the incident, including dashcam footage,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

Anyone with information or dashcam footage should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

jack.paynter@news.com.au

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