Ballarat man dead in truck crash at Meredith

A Ballarat man is dead after the cement truck he was driving rolled off a bridge just outside of Meredith this morning.

Police have confirmed the driver of the Boral truck, 53, lost control on Coopers Bridge approximately 7.30 this morning before falling down an embankment and into the river.

Acting Sergeant Michael Watts said there would be an ongoing investigation into the incident to determine the cause.  

"The truck has collided with the railing at the side and as a result has plummeted approximately seven metres and the truck landed on the riverbank," he said.

"On arrival at the scene by  emergency services, the male was still located in the vehicle  and he was pronounced deceased on the scene." 

The bridge is only wide enough for one vehicle to cross at a time  and the road leading to the bridge is steep and windy. 

A local resident described the road as "treacherous" and said it was not the first time an accident had occurred.

Acting Sergeant Watts said there were no witnesses to the accident.

"This time of year is hard for all families when something like this occurs so again if we can just put a word out to be vigilant on our roads this time of year and take care," he said. 

The truck was fully loaded with cement at the time of the incident. 

"The towing company is here, they will go done and make an assessment," Acting Sergeant Watts said.  

"Due to the size and weight of the truck it will be a difficult extraction."

 The Environment Protection Agency arrived on the scene just before midday to contain the diesel which had leaked into the river. 

A spokesperson from the agency said a boom had been inserted in the water to stop further contamination and representatives from the organisation would remain on the scene until the truck was removed.    

There were no passengers in the truck.

A Worksafe representative arrived at the scene in the morning, however, a spokesperson has confirmed the incident is being treated as a road accident rather than workplace incident.  

Executive general manager for the southern region Paul Dalton said the driver had been driving the concrete agitator to a customer site. 

"We are working with the police, safety and emergency authorities to understand the cause of this tragic accident," he said. 

"We offer our sincere condolences to the family and will do all we can to assist them at this very difficult time."

The road is expected to be closed for the rest of the day. 

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