Utility flips after hitting wire rope barrier on Hume at Wodonga

WIRE rope barriers may have prevented a more serious crash on the Hume Highway.

Emergency services were called to an incident near Old Barnawartha Road about 4.30pm on Thursday.

A Ford Ranger travelling north struck the barrier, rolled, and landed upside down in the centre median strip.

Sergeant Tim Money said the 31-year old driver, who was the sole occupant, escaped major injury.

“He’s been conveyed to Wodonga hospital for observations,” he said.

“It’s just more of a precautionary measure at this stage.”

It was unclear what caused the accident, with police seeking witnesses.

“Due to the height of the vehicle – it’s an SUV that’s raised off the ground – it’s obviously hit the barrier on the side and it’s simply rolled off the side of the barrier,” Sergeant Mooney said.

“The safety barriers have probably prevented further injury.

“The vehicle could have easily ended up on the other side of the freeway or impacted with a tree.

“It’s potentially saved his life.”

The wire rope barriers have been a contentious political issue.

The crash occurred near a recently erected billboard spruiking the benefits of the safety rope.

While the ropes are installed to stop vehicles running off the road and into trees, or crossing onto the wrong side of the road, firefighters have expressed concern about a lack of access to fires.

State opposition leader Matthew Guy says he would halt the installation of the wire rope if elected later this year.

He has accused the government of bungling the installation.

“There’s been challenges in the process (of introducing wire barriers) because while they’re a really important, life-saving device, there are implications of having them there,” he recently told The Border Mail.

“Our members may not be able to access the road verge if there’s a fire in the middle of the freeway.”

“Neither the position or the design of the wire rope flexi barrier into which the vehicle first collided were factors which have been shown to have caused or contributed to this accident,” he said. 

“The various decision may by VicRoads concerning the introduction of this program of road improvement were proper and reasonable, and in the public interest.” 

Thursday’s crash came during a dangerous period on North East roads. 

A female motorcyclist was also hurt after sliding out on the Bogong High Plains Road at Falls Creek on Thursday.