Woman dead, truck driver arrested after crash on Princes Highway's Swanport Bridge near Murray Bridge

Update 10am Wednesday

Kenneth Laurence Pillar, 54, of Camperdown was charged with one count of causing death by dangerous driving. He appeared in the Murray Bridge Magistrates Court via video link from Adelaide on Wednesday afternoon. 

He was refused bail and will return to court on June 25.

Police alleged Pillar’s B-double truck crossed to the wrong side of the Swanport Bridge, near Murray Bridge, about 6.20pm on Tuesday.

The court was told he narrowly missed one vehicle before hitting another head-on. The 61-year old female driver, from Mount Gambier, was killed instantly.

It has been reported that Mr Pillar’s lawyer, Alicia Tindall, told the court he had suffered a coughing fit before the crash.  

Mr Pillar’s employer Noel Lane from Killarney’s Lane Transport was in court along with Pillar’s partner.

Update 10am Wednesday

A crane supports the truck involved in Tuesday night's fatal crash at the eastern end of the Swanport Bridge almost 16 hours after it collided with a car, allegedly due to dangerous driving on the part of the truck's driver.

High above the Swanport wetland, a long section of safety barrier remains missing where the truck appeared to have collided with it on what would have been, for its driver, the right-hand side of the road.

Traffic across the bridge remained restricted to one direction at a time and 25 kilometres per hour this morning, but motorists were only kept waiting for about 10 minutes.

The truck driver is expected to appear at Murray Bridge Magistrates' Court today, though it is unclear whether the hearing will be open to the public and media.

Traffic banks up on Adelaide Road at 9.30pm on Tuesday after a fatal crash on the Swanport Bridge led police to close the Princes Highway for much of the night.

Traffic banks up on Adelaide Road at 9.30pm on Tuesday after a fatal crash on the Swanport Bridge led police to close the Princes Highway for much of the night.

8am Wednesday

Traffic on Bridge Street, in Murray Bridge, is back to normal this morning and the Swanport Bridge has reopened, but with a 25 kilometre per hour speed limit, after last night's fatal crash between a car and a B-double truck on the freeway.

A 61-year-old woman from the South East, who was the only occupant of the car, died at the scene of the crash, which happened at about 6.20pm last night.

Major crash investigators have attended the scene and arrested the 54-year-old truck driver from Victoria, who has been charged with alleged dangerous driving and will face the Murray Bridge Magistrates Court today.

The bridge was closed for several hours and traffic diverted across the old Murray Bridge, resulting in a line of trucks banked up as far as McCue's Bakery on Adelaide Road and the BP service station on the east side.

Several truck drivers jumped out of their cabins and stretched their legs, while staff from the Red Rooster franchise walked along the line of traffic offering free chips.

Police have asked anyone with information on the crash to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

South Australia's road toll now stands at 43, compared to 39 at the same time last year.

More to come.