First elderly hour in Singleton marred due to fatal truck crash

WAITING: Customers not permitted to enter Singleton's Woolworths during elderly hour countdown until 8am to access the supermarket.
WAITING: Customers not permitted to enter Singleton's Woolworths during elderly hour countdown until 8am to access the supermarket.

You could not have scripted a more cruel twist to Singleton's local angle within the coronavirus pandemic.

As reported cases have closed in around the region the town's residents, like many others around the world, have been stocking up on essential items at local supermarkets.

As a result, Woolworths and Coles have introduced special hours in their supermarkets to ensure that seniors and people with disabilities will be able to shop in less crowded aisles.

However Singleton shoppers of all ages were upset to learn that neither store was able to stock some essential this morning due to a fatal truck crash which has held up deliveries across the region.

"The main thing I wanted was toilet paper but there was none of that due to a truck accident," Singleton local Denise Paul told the Singleton Argus this morning.

"The store attendants believe the trucks are held up in that but it has been good."

Emergency services were called to the southbound lanes of the M1, near the Church Street overpass, about 2.30am.

Police said a body was found inside a truck that rolled and caught alight on the M1 at Mount Kuring Gai.

On arrival, officers found a B-double that had crashed into the medium strip and rolled before catching on fire, burning a load of wool it was transporting, police said.

A body, believed to be the driver, was found inside and is yet to be identified.

This morning was the first time Woolworths had implemented the 7am to 8am elderly hour.

ELDERLY HOUR: Denise Paul, 69, was one of the many happy customers who enjoyed elderly hour at Singleton's Woolworths supermarket this morning.

ELDERLY HOUR: Denise Paul, 69, was one of the many happy customers who enjoyed elderly hour at Singleton's Woolworths supermarket this morning.

Singleton's Coles supermarket will follow suit tomorrow.

"As soon as I heard about the elderly hour I thought I'd take the opportunity that has been given to us," she continued.

"A lot of people in there are much older with carers as well so its been good."

MEANWHILE the M1 Pacific Motorway remains closed between Berowra and Mount Colah and, due to the serious nature of the crash, there is no forecast for when the motorway will reopen.

Officers from Kuring Gai Police Area Command have established a crime scene and have commenced a full investigation.

Traffic is being diverted around the crash site and motorists are being advised to avoid the area where possible.

Picture: Live Traffic NSW

Picture: Live Traffic NSW

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online

At 7am, Church Street was still closed in Mount Kuring-Gai.

Investigations are continuing on site and the recovery operation is expected to continue throughout the morning peak.

People wishing to travel between the Central Coast and Sydney should either delay their journey, allow plenty of extra travel time due to increased volumes on the Pacific Highway or consider catching a train instead.

Additionally, buses in the area are delayed and disrupted with customers advised to allow extra travel time.

Southbound motorists are being diverted off the M1 at the Berowra Interchange to continue their journey via the Pacific Highway.

There is no southbound access to the M1 at Berowra via Windybanks Interchange.

Traffic on the M1 is queued around 8km from the Hawkesbury River through to the Berowra exit.

Traffic on the Pacific Hwy is queued around 17km from Cowan to Mount Colah.

Northbound motorists can no longer access the M1 from the Pacific Hwy or Pennant Hills Rd at Wahroonga. Motorists can use the Pacific Hwy via Hornsby and join the M1 at Berowra.

Traffic is starting to build on Pennant Hills Rd and the Pacific Hwy between Normanhurst and Hornsby.