Speed may be to blame for 'horrific' army crash that injured 18

SPEED is believed to have been a contributing factor when an open-top army truck rolled several times at Sydney's Holsworthy Barracks, leaving one man on life support and 17 others seriously injured.

Inspector Steve Blair, of the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit, said that officers were confronted with a ''horrific'' scene after the crash on a dirt road during a training exercise at 9am yesterday.

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Soldiers in critical condition after truck rolls

Two soldiers are fighting for their lives and 15 others have been hurt after a military vehicle rolled on a dirt road at Holsworthy army barracks during a training exercise.

The Mercedes-Benz Unimog multi-purpose truck careered off the side of the road and rolled several times, throwing all 18 on board from the vehicle.

Two were flown to hospital and one remained in a critical condition last night. The other 16 were treated for cuts, bruises and broken bones.

Inspector Blair said early investigations suggested the truck may have been speeding.

''It was on a back road and there was a bend involved, so for whatever reason the truck has left the road,'' he said. ''With 18 people, a vehicle overturned, people ejected from the rear of the vehicle, it will look somewhat horrific … However, the trained personnel that arrived to render first aid and everything are used to seeing people strewn across a large area.''


An Ambulance Service of NSW spokesman, Steve Fulton, said the site of the accident was inside the army base and in dense bushland, making it difficult to access. ''It was confronting in that there was quite a number of patients,'' he said.

At the time of the crash, the truck was travelling in convoy with a support vehicle carrying equipment.

Inspector Blair said the police would remain at the scene for some time investigating the crash and the truck involved would undergo mechanical tests today.

''We are always saying that any collision is bad. We are lucky at this stage that no one has passed away,'' he said.

The critical soldier's next of kin have been notified.

The Department of Defence said no personal details would be released at this stage and they would not speculate on the cause of the accident.

with AAP