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Stranded truck driver survives 14 hours in floodwater

LATEST: A truck driver stranded on the roof of a truck swept into rising floodwaters for more than 14 hours has been rescued.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Area Commander Inspector Warren Buckley said the man, 47, was winched to safety by RACQ LifeFlight about 2pm.

He said the truck driver was driving a five-tonne truck and hit the flooded Leichhardt Hwy at Condamine about 11pm, washing the truck from the road.

He managed to survive the night and raise the alarm with passing truck drivers this morning who then contacted emergency services, Insp. Buckley said.

The truck driver, 47, stranded on the roof of the vehicle as RACQ LifeFlight prepares to winch him to safety.
The truck driver, 47, stranded on the roof of the vehicle as RACQ LifeFlight prepares to winch him to safety. Contributed

"(The truck) floated about 300-400m downstream of the Leichardt Hwy where the man was found on top of the Pantech truck," Insp. Buckley said.

"He's very lucky to have been found and that the truck remained upright.

"If it had fallen over it would have been very different.

"He's suffering sunburn (but) it could have been a hell of a lot worse."

Insp. Buckley said it was not confirmed if road closed signs had been put up on the highway which he said was still inundated by about 400mm of floodwaters this afternoon.

But a witness said signs were put out on the road last night, and at about 9pm, the water level was about 600mm deep.

The truck driver, 47, stranded on the roof of the vehicle as RACQ LifeFlight prepares to winch him to safety.
The truck driver, 47, stranded on the roof of the vehicle as RACQ LifeFlight prepares to winch him to safety.

"This morning at 10am, the truck drivers who were stopped on the highway heard him 'cooeeing' down the creek," the witness said.

The driver was winched to safety and taken to Miles Hospital in a stable condition.

It is believed he had suffered sunburn during the ordeal.

A Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service spokesman said the man was in a stable condition.

Insp. Buckley urged all drivers to be mindful of flooded roads and highways at all times.

"This is twice in two days," Insp. Buckley said of the swift water rescue.

"It was safer for us to use the helicopter than put the swift water teams in the swollen river.

"He (the driver) was on top of the vehicle and that let us buy a bit of time.

"The rescue was straight forward.

"There has been a significant amount of rain in the area over the past couple of days and people need to be mindful that if it is flooded, forget it."

QFES deployed crews from Miles, Tara and Dalby, and swift water technicians from Toowoomba.

1.40PM: Emergency services are mounting a swift water rescue with reports a person is trapped in a vehicle washed into floodwaters.

State Emergency Services has deployed a boat to the incident scene on the Leichhardt Hwy at Condamine, about 220km north-west of Toowoomba.

Three Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews are at the scene with police as the rescue situation unfolds.

It is believed a person is stuck in the vehicle which has been washed into floodwaters.

A rescue helicopter has been tasked to the incident scene.

Topics:  condamine editors picks emergency services flooding state emergency services


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