Alleged truck thief charged after fiery crash injures eight

Published: 12 October 2017

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A 29-year-old man has been charged with a range of offences after he allegedly stole a truck and crashed into at least six vehicles and a heritage-listed building in NSW’s Hunter region.

Five people were sent to hospital, one in a critical condition, Wednesday morning as paramedics rushed to George Street in Singleton just before 9am.

"It seems that the people involved were just going about their usual morning business, having coffee along the main street when this accident happened out of nowhere,” NSW Ambulance Inspector Luke Wiseman said.

"The scale and the suddenness of the incident and the fact that is has happened in a smaller community means a lot of people are in shock, so it was a challenging scene.”

The semi-trailer burst into flames after ploughing through other vehicles and part of a building, injuring eight people in total.

Police have launched a critical incident investigation into the situation.

Witness Tony Pearce said the truck looked like it was going at least 100 kilometres an hour when it came down the street.

“It was hitting cars and going through them like it was nothing… it was carnage,” he said.

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A photo from the scene yesterday morning.

Earlier Wednesday morning, at about 7.30am, police responded to report of a stolen semi-trailer at a BP in Murrurundi and deployed road spikes as the truck drove towards Singleton, NSW.

The truck was driving erratically as it approached, police said.

The driver of the alleged stolen truck, identified as 29-year-old Rod Johnson, was arrested at the scene and received hospital treatment for minor injuries.

He was later charged with a range of offences, including steal motor vehicle, police pursuit – not stop, use offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, assault officer in execution of duty, and more.

He was refused bail and is expected before Singleton Local Court today.