SA police to investigate fatal crash near Victorian border

SA police are investigating the fiery crash that killed a truck driver in Victoria near the Bordertown checkpoint where motorists queued to cross before borders closed at midnight.

Even though Victorian Police are looking into the death, SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said he instigated an inquiry into how the state’s border checkpoints were managed.

He said a traffic management expert was deployed with a senior police officer to make sure the current set up was appropriate.

Mr Stevens said it was not fair to speculate if a lack of resources at the Bordertown checkpoint led to the fatality.

“I think we should conduct our inquiries and provide factual information based on the information that we’re able to obtain and be clear in our assessment as to what the circumstances were,” he said.

“Any loss of life on our roads is a tragedy and impacts on so many people.

“This truck driver’s family is now grieving and the people he works with, his friends, his colleagues are all experiencing significant loss.”

The three trucks collided along the Western Highway in Victoria, which is the continuation of the Duke highway in SA.

Just before 2.30am, one truck crashed into the rear of another station truck and hit into a third about 5km east of the border.

All three vehicles burst into flames.

Premier Steven Marshall and SA chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier both offered condolences during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

It was also announced travellers from NSW and Western Australia would longer need to undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing upon arrival into SA.

Mr Marshall said the changes would come into effect from midnight on Saturday.

It comes as SA closed its border with Greater Melbourne at 12.01am on Thursday.

“We know this (the UK) variant is at least 50 to 70 per cent more transmissible so for people who have been to Victoria, have come across the border and are not in quarantine, it is very important that you all take a look at the DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) website regularly,” Professor Spurrier said.

Professor Spurrier praised her Victorian counterparts for their contact tracing and felt “positive that things would settle down fairly quickly”.

She said the state usually looked for 14 days of no locally acquired cases before easing border restrictions but said it may not be necessary with Greater Melbourne.

“It’s too early to say how long we’ll have that border up for and it will depend on how things go over the next couple of days,” Professor Spurrier said.

“I’m feeling relatively confident, as we’re getting more and more information from Victoria. I’m hopeful that this will settle down.”

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