Truckie Darren Smart comes across a single-vehicle crash involving a van that was reportedly loaded with reptiles. Pic: Darren Smart
Truckie Darren Smart comes across a single-vehicle crash involving a van that was reportedly loaded with reptiles. Pic: Darren Smart

Truckie’s good deed leads to creepy highway discovery

SNAKES, lizards and even crocodiles - not what one would typically expect to come across while rendering assistance at the scene of a crash.

It was, however, the unique reality truckie Darren Smart faced last month on the Cunningham Highway at Warrill View.

Mr Smart, alongside seven other good Samaritans, had stopped to assist after a white van reportedly overturned just after 7am.

With debris and personal belongings scattered across the major highway, the kind-hearted stranger set about retrieving a number of items.

Fortunately, it was a quick warning from an injured passenger that stopped Mr Smart from making a potentially life-threatening error.

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"There were some bags on the ground and boxes in the back of vehicle, another truck driver and me, we went over to start cleaning up," he said.

"A woman, who was obviously involved in the crash, she told us not to touch the red bags because they were filled with venomous snakes.

"There was a red bag right at my feet and a green bag over the other side of the road."

It was only upon further inspection that members of the public came across several other reptiles inside the van.

"The guy next to me, who I actually thought was a policeman but wasn't, he told me the van was full of reptiles," Mr Smart said.

A number of venomous snakes were found inside bags at the scene of the crash. Pic: file photo
A number of venomous snakes were found inside bags at the scene of the crash. Pic: file photo

"There was apparently even a crocodile in there.

"I had a peek inside; I couldn't see the crocodile, but I saw a broken box with a big lizard inside."

The driver of the van, believed to be a male, allegedly admitted to falling asleep at the wheel after driving all night.

Mr Smart said those who stopped to render assistance believed the scenes to be suspicious, prompting a call to local law enforcement.

"It could have been a completely innocent situation, I don't know but all of us that were there, the civilians, all of us thought that it didn't seem quite right," he said.

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"I really hope it's innocent and I hope they were do-gooders trying to do something really nice for some animals."

A spokeswoman for Queensland Police confirmed on Wednesday that police attended the incident.

She confirmed a variety of species which were lawfully possessed had been involved in the collision.

Two reptiles - one of them reportedly an unknown species of snake - escaped into the wild. All survived. 

She said investigations into the matter were ongoing, with no charges laid against the driver.

Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.


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