UPDATE: Thunderbolts Way to close for truck salvage operation

THE Thunderbolts Way will be closed to all traffic from dawn tomorrow as salvage crews begin the delicate operation to retrieve the two trucks involved in last Wednesday’s fatal crash.

Three heavy lift tow trucks will attempt to retrieve one of the trucks intact before the other is also removed from the crash site.

A heavy lift helicopter will provide air support.

Council spokesman Norm Harwood said the road would be closed to traffic for at least two days while the salvage operation takes place.

“They’ve estimated it will take up to eight hours to get the first truck out,” he said.

“The truck has to be brought out as a single unit. It was the second truck in line and police have an interest in that particular vehicle.

“Once the first truck is brought up and taken away the salvage guys will have a look at the second vehicle. There’s no requirement for that truck to be brought up in one piece.”

Mr Harwood said the crash site was in a national park and covered an area of about 350 square metres.

He said the two trucks were about 80m from the road down a hill which was too steep for a person to walk down without a safety rope.

Council has been helping to prepare the site for the salvage, removing damaged guard rails and other debris littered along the roadside.

Mr Harwood said once the two trucks were removed council would replace the guard rail and repair the rock wall and road surface damaged in the crash.

Gloucester Shire Council has placed road signs along Thunderbolts Way informing motorists of the road’s closure.

Adjoining councils at Walcha and Tamworth will also erect similar signage while the Roads and Maritime Service has been informed of the closure.

Emergency service crews at the scene of last Wednesday's truck crash.

Emergency service crews at the scene of last Wednesday's truck crash.