MIRACLE ESCAPE: The scene of the fatal truck crash on the Cunningham Hwy at Mutdapilly on August 11.
MIRACLE ESCAPE: The scene of the fatal truck crash on the Cunningham Hwy at Mutdapilly on August 11.

Marty living truck driver's worst nightmare after crash

IT'S what the wife of every truck driver dreads - an unidentified phone call late at night.

Marty Barber's wife had to go through the gut-wrenching call from emergency services when he crashed just after 1am at Mutdapilly on the Cunningham Hwy on August 11.

Fortunately Marty was alive and being taken to a Brisbane hospital, but for others the news was much worse.

The driver of the utility that is believed to have swerved into Marty's path did not survive.

Truck driving is Australia's most deadly job, says the Transport Workers' Union.

That statement is backed up by statistics that show Transport Postal and Warehousing tops the list of most dangerous jobs in Australia.

Last year 220 people died in crashes with heavy vehicles.

Truck driver Marty Barber with wife Amanda and his two children Tui, 7, and Amali, 9.
Truck driver Marty Barber with wife Amanda and his two children Tui, 7, and Amali, 9. David Nielsen

More often they are the drivers of cars or their passengers and there is also a percentage of truckies doing their jobs.

Safe Work Australia says around 50 truckies a year are killed and a report last month revealed the transport industry is a priority in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy due to historic high rates of fatalities and injuries.

Marty Barber knows all too well how dangerous driving a truck can be.

He is slowly recovering from the crash that could easily have cost him his life.

The Lowood truckie was driving a milk tanker for Blu Logistics when the ute allegedly crossed into his path.

The truck's cab was crushed and the ute was destroyed, taking the life of the driver.

Police told Marty he was not at fault in the crash, that there was evidence he tried to avoid the ute but there was just no room to move.

"It happened so quick, I didn't even think I had time to brake, but the evidence showed I did brake and change direction," he said.

Now he's undergoing counselling to try and get him back to the job he loves, driving trucks.

At the moment he is not allowed or able to drive a car let alone a truck; he still can't carry a bag of shopping or pick up his kids as his chest and legs were injured in the crash and he still has trouble breathing.

Miraculously, he did not break any bones.

"They put me through the CAT scan twice, they couldn't believe nothing was broken," he said.

The crash has been hard on the whole family and devastating for his children aged 7 and 9.

"I want to go back to my job, that's what I do, I drive, but I'm terrified of that prospect at the moment."

Marty praised the company he works for - his boss stayed with him in hospital after the crash and organised a driver to take his wife to her mother's funeral, which was being held the day of the crash.

While he is focussed on recovering his friends have set up a GoFundMe account to raise some money to help the family.

Long-time family friend Katrina Buckley set up the fund, Called Help the Milk Tanker Driver recover, and there's already $800 worth of donations.

Marty said he was stoked and stunned that the fund had been set up. "It's pretty amazing that people put their hands in their pockets for some bloke that they don't know," he said.

 


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