Coles truck carrying lettuce erupts into flames after highway collision

A Coles truck exploded into flames on Wednesday night after colliding with another vehicle on a Sunshine Coast highway in Queensland.

The collision occurred after a four-wheel-drive ute rear-ended the truck, Queensland Police said, and was reportedly pinned underneath before both vehicles erupted into flames on the Bruce Highway at around 11.30pm.

The truck was carrying a load of chilled items and fresh produce, including lettuce, and was travelling from the Coles Parkinson Distribution Centre to Rockhampton and Yeppoon stores, a Coles spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Australia

Coles truck and vehicle on fire after road collision on Queensland highway
The Coles truck was headed to the Rockhampton and Yeppoon store in Queensland. Source: Clayton's Towing

The passenger of the vehicle was a 20-year-old woman who was pulled from the wreckage by the truck driver and a witness, according to reports.

The truck driver allegedly "felt a thud" and pulled off the road, local towing company Clayton's Towing revealed. He pulled the woman to safety before disconnecting his trailer — moments before it went up in flames.

"He dragged her for at least 700-800 metres before pulling over, because he didn't realise he had anything behind him," witness Anthony Puleo told Seven News.

"We are extremely proud of the driver’s quick-thinking actions in supporting others involved in the incident," the Coles spokeperson told Yahoo News Australia.

Burnt out Coles truck carrying fresh produce
The truck was carrying a load of fresh produce, including lettuce. Source: Clayton's Towing

Police confirmed the driver of the commercial truck was unharmed.

"The driver of the utility sustained minor injuries and was transported to Sunshine Coast University Hospital," they said in a statement.

Emergency services were able to extinguish the fire a short time after it started.

As a result of the collision, the highway was partially closed for several hours but was reopened just before 7.30am on Thursday.

Investigations are ongoing, but Yahoo News Australia understands no one has been charged as of Thursday afternoon.

Burn four-wheel-drive and Coles truck after road collision
The Cole struck was driving on the Bruce Highway on the Sunshine Coast when it was involved in a collision. Source: Clayton's Towing

Lettuce shortages and price hikes

Aussies have seen the price of lettuce soar in recent months with supply shortages impacting supermarkets, including Coles, Woolworths and IGA.

Fast-food outlets, including KFC, have resorted to swapping out the leafy vegetable for cabbage instead to help combat rising costs and lack of supply.

The supply chain issues are being attributed to the floods that impacted much of Queensland and NSW earlier this year. Crops were entirely wiped out in many cases causing a lack of supply.

Australian shoppers are likely to continue paying top dollar for fresh produce due to recent excessive rain and flooding across parts of NSW.

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