Truck crash prompts Anzac march safety review
Police mechanics are testing the restored military truck. (ABC News)
The RSL says it will review safety procedures for the use of historical military vehicles in Anzac Day parades after a number of veterans were knocked down by a truck in Melbourne’s march yesterday.
Police mechanics are testing the restored military truck which ploughed into eight veterans from the Ceylon Ex-Servicemen’s Association as they walked on St Kilda Road.
Five of the army veterans were taken to hospital and one of them, Sidney Ludowyke, 87, remains in a serious condition in hospital with his pelvis broken in two places.
A 90-year-old man, seated on the back of the truck, was also hurt.
The truck that hit the group was a World War II Chevrolet Blitz.
The driver has told police that as he approached the veterans the accelerator seemed to stick and he could not stop the vehicle.
Victorian RSL president David McLoughlin says it is the first time a military vehicle has crashed during the Melbourne Anzac Day march and safety procedures will be reviewed.
“We’ll convene the Anzac Day Commemoration Council. We’ll get the police reports to see where it’s at,” he said.
“We’ll talk to the historical vehicles society and see what conclusions were drawn. We’ll go back and have a look at our arrangements for the march, and then when we’ve got all that together, we’ll work out whether we need to change what we do.”
Major-General McLoughlin says all historical vehicles used in Anzac Day parades are registered and therefore assumed roadworthy.
He says vehicles play an important role in the annual event and he would not like to see their use restricted.
“As the World War II veterans age, we probably will need more vehicles rather than less and we’ve got to make sure that they’re properly equipped,” he said.
He says the truck involved in yesterday’s crash was last serviced three months ago and had been used in the past 11 Anzac Day marches in Melbourne.
The injured men have all said yesterday’s crash would not stop them from marching in next year’s parade.
Sergeant Damien Madden says 80 people witnessed the crash and their accounts will help police determine if vehicle or driver error is to blame.
“The driver of the truck, he’s upset about what occurred in the collision but also the ramifications of what occurred and what that will have on future Anzac Day parades,” Sergeant Madden said.
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Truck crash prompts anzac march safety review