BP fleet off road after triple fatality crash

BP has taken its 50 Australian tanker fleet trucks off the road after a four-year-old boy, his mum and another woman died when a trailer came loose and crashed head-on into two cars.

The three had "absolutely no chance" when the trailer of a BP petrol tanker became detached while rounding a bend on a Victorian country road, crushing the cars.

BP has pulled its trucking fleet - all 30 vehicles in Victoria and another 20 around the rest of Australia - so they can be inspected and cleared by transport regulators.

BP Australia president Andy Holmes said the fleet was recalled as a matter of precaution.

"We are taking full precautions and we are making sure that we're co-operating fully with the authorities to ensure proper inspections are carried out so we can understand more about what's happened," he told reporters in Melbourne on Friday.

Mr Holmes said there should be no effect on fuel supplies, as the company also uses third-party logistics providers and there are a number of petrol tankers in the industry.

"Overall fuel supplies should not be affected in the state or around the country," he said.

Witnesses said the truck was travelling normally before the trailer came off near Wodonga on Thursday morning, crossing on to the wrong side of the road and hitting the two cars head-on.

Detective Inspector Bernie Rankin said it was impossible for the car drivers to take any evasive action.

"These people had absolutely no chance at all," Det Insp Rankin told Fairfax Radio.

"It happened in a matter of a split second."

A 33-year-old Allans Flat woman and her four-year-old son died when their car was crushed under the trailer, along with a 67-year-old Yackandandah woman in the other car, which was also crushed.

It took until early Friday morning to lift the trailer off the top of the family's crushed car.

Police will examine the truck and dog-trailer to determine what caused the crash.

It is the only one of its type in BP's Victorian fleet, but Mr Holmes said there are other types of those trucks and dog-trailers around the country.

There have been no incidents of this type with the vehicles before, he said.

The truck was last serviced on August 1, with a full yearly service carried out in May.

BP's fleet would be inspected over the next few days to ensure the vehicles were safe when they returned to the road, VicRoads director of regulatory services Richard Bell said.

The truck driver, a 50-year-old local man, has worked for BP in the area for a number of years, Mr Holmes said.

"It's a difficult situation for him, for all of us but particularly for him," he said.

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