A MAN has received an infringement notice for spilling diesel across the Tawonga Gap Road in what was initially thought to have been a deliberate act.
Officers initially concluded the fuel was spilled on the road on Saturday on purpose.
They had found two 20-litre drums hidden in nearby bushes about 11am.
But an investigation found a ute driver had been travelling with an open tray which had caused the drums to fall out.
Senior Sergeant Doug Incoll said the diesel could have caused a serious crash and reminded people to alert authorities of such incidents.
“It’s an offence for people not to secure their load properly,” he said.
“It can cause hazards to other road users.
“A motorbike rider could have come off and been seriously injured, or in a worst-case scenario hit a tree.
“He’s be spoken to about why VicRoads and the council need to be notified.”
Richard Wilson had been riding a bike with a friend and witnessed the incident.
He said the Nissan Navara driver had thrown the diesel drums into the bush after they spilled.
“That’s the wrong thing to do,” he said.
“We were pretty disappointed to see that happen after we stopped and pulled the barrels up for him.
“It was like he was almost trying to cover his tracks.
“It was an accident, but then he put himself back in the wrong by littering in the bush, which is something a lot of people care about around here.”
Mr Wilson said he had noted the driver's number plate before calling Crime Stoppers on Sunday.
He said the driver had been annoyed after the drums fell from the vehicle.
“There were a few cars that came past and we told them to slow down and be careful,” Mr Wilson said.
“He just kept shaking his head and made noises that suggested he was unhappy at what had happened.
“He lost a lot of diesel.”
Senior Sergeant Incoll said the man had been issued a ticket for having an insecure load.
According to VicRoads, fines for such offences range from $233 to $3109 with demerit points.