Dalwallinu Truck Accident
When a truck carrying a load of large pipes rolled over in a severe accident in the small country town of Dalwallinu, Western Australia, the Brethren were quick to arrive at the scene and render assistance.
During the night on Monday 8th of April 2013, the truck lost control on a corner of the highway and rolled upside down, crushing the cab down to the level of the engine bay and imprisoning the injured driver inside.
Members of the Brethren who lived nearby were the first on the scene. Realising that the driver was trapped inside and likely to be seriously hurt, they attempted to open the cab to reach him. The damage to the truck was so severe that they weren’t able to, so they talked with him to encourage him and to establish, while he was still conscious, that he was the only occupant. Meanwhile others got busy with other tasks while waiting for emergency crews.
As more people arrived, members of the brethren set up a generator and lighting equipment to illuminate the area, as they directed traffic away from the accident.
As smoke was coming from the engine and diesel leaking from the fuel tanks, they cut the power cables from the batteries and pumped the leaking diesel fuel into a tank they provided, to prevent a fire.
It took almost two hours for emergency crews to free the driver, who was bleeding and had back injuries. About fifteen volunteer fire-fighters and ambulance officers, as well as police officers and the local doctor, attended the incident and rendered their professional assistance.
During this time, some Brethren brought earthmoving equipment to block an underground water pipe that had been damaged during the accident. Water had been running through an open drain under the truck, so this prevented the diesel contaminated water from spreading. Another member of the Brethren brought food and refreshments for the emergency services.
Once the crew had cut the door away, the driver was transferred to a waiting helicopter and taken 250km south to a hospital in Perth.
The next day, some members of the brethren used their earthmoving equipment to help the transport company turn the truck back onto its wheels to be taken away. They also loaded the debris and remnants of the load onto other trucks.
Fire and emergency services crew were grateful for the assistance by the Brethren, with one saying “The food and drink provided by the brethren was much appreciated – we’ve never had anything like this before.” Another said “I think I put on weight last night at the accident, the food provided by the Brethren was good. Staff from the transport company were also appreciative, saying “The young guy with the front end loader who helped us was fantastic, I don’t know how we would have done it without him.