Adelaide truck crash victim says she’s lucky to be alive

Barbara Stewart was trapped beneath the heavy vehicle, as bystanders raced to free her.

“I have a guardian angel on my shoulder, I’m sure,” she told 9News.

The 72-year-old was trapped underneath the truck when witnesses rescued her. (Nine)

She said she heard a crash and saw a truck, but can’t remember anything else of Sunday’s accident on the Eastern Freeway at Glen Osmond.

The 72-year-old was eventually freed and comforted by paramedics before she was taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Despite her mangled car, she only suffered cuts and bruises.

“I had glass picked out my head, and really there isn’t much wrong,” she said.

Barbara said she believes she has a ‘guardian angel’ on her shoulder after surviving the incident. (Nine)

“I think I’ll just thank my lucky stars, it’s not my time. I have grandchildren to see grow up.

Remarkably, Stewart also survived another similar crash at the same intersection in 2014.

Also among the casualties yesterday were grandparents Murray and Vickie who were dropping their granddaughter at the airport.

An off-duty nurse rushed to her side. (Nine)

An off-duty nurse from another car was the first by their side.

Klaudia and her family had seen the truck lose control coming down the freeway.

They say the 60-year-old driver sped past two arrester beds.

“He was sort of swerving in and out of traffic and we noted some smoke coming from the wheels,” she said.

Major crash officers spent most of the night at the scene investigating.

There are fresh calls for more to be done at the junction.

The same calls were made in 2014, when a runaway truck, doing more than 150 kilometers an hour, killed two people.

Signs line the descent into Adelaide, where trucks must be in a low gear and can’t go more than 60km an hour.

glen osmond crash
Eight people were hurt in the crash in Adelaide. (Nine)

Suggestions to get rid of freight on the Freeway have been labeled impractical, given 40 per cent of trucks come from the Adelaide Hills.

“Since the 2014 crash, we’ve had five and a half million trucks come down the hill and we’ve had four serious incidents,” Steve Shearer from the Road Transport Association SA said.

“How do you put something in place as a safety net to catch the tiny few who get it wrong? There’s really only one answer, that’s a third arrester bed.”

With costs ranging from $7m to $44m, the Royal Automobile Association of SA provided six options to install the third safety ramp back in 2020.

Charles Mountain from the RAA said something needs to be done.

glen osmond crash
The truck crash is not the first on the stretch of freeway. (Nine)

“They do need some form of safety mechanism to prevent the sort of situation we saw yesterday,” he said.

The new government hasn’t ruled it out, but may need to consider new technology.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said he is “open-minded to re-explore” the issue.

One key safety emergency measure was enacted yesterday, and the quick actions of traffic management staff might have saved lives.

A decision was made to change the Glen Osmond Road lights from red to green, when it became clear the truck was in trouble further up.

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