Nine people were injured, but none had life-threatening injuries – a result police say was miraculous.
The accident happened at 3.45pm yesterday when a Mitsubishi truck towing a trailer traveling on the motorway was unable to stop at the Glen Osmond Road / Portrush Road intersection.
The truck slammed into a bus and a Hyundai SUV, which was pushed into another car, waiting at the intersection lights before driving through the intersection and hitting five other vehicles.
Police said the truck driver, a 60-year-old man from Queensland, was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Eight people in other vehicles were taken to Royal Adelaide Hospital with minor injuries, while five others caught in the crash were uninjured.
The intersection was closed most of the night but reopened before the morning commute began in earnest.
The intersection has been the site of several accidents, including fatalities over the years.
The speed limit for all lorries has been reduced to 60mph on Crafers Climb after an out-of-control lorry rammed into three cars at the intersection, killing two people.
There are two arresting beds – one above the Heysen tunnels and one below – which are designed to stop trucks and other vehicles if their brakes fail.
Premier Peter Malinauskas said this morning that a third arrest bed option – at the bottom of the freeway – was something that could be considered.
However, he said there was huge complexity in adding the extra bed to the site.
“It’s not like we haven’t seen action on the Southeast Freeway over the years,” he told ABC Radio, adding that many measures have been added to the over the years, including reduced speed limits, low-speed warrants, and signage. .
However, he said he would discuss other options with the transport minister today, including whether a third arrest bed should be reconsidered.
He wanted to await the conclusion of the South African police investigation before making any decisions to ensure they were based on evidence.
Hills MP, former Liberal turned Independent Dan Cregan, said he fears lives could be lost without changes to the way the highway is used or designed.
The MP for Kavel again lamented the Marshall government’s decision to abandon its Globelink concept, which aimed to divert trucks from the highway.
“Without additional investment, there is a real risk that more people will lose their lives at this very dangerous intersection,” Cregan said.
“I was disgusted when Globelink’s proposal was dropped. We need to consider completing an Adelaide Hills freight bypass as well as adding an additional arrest bed. I think changes in traffic management precautions are also needed.
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