Cooloongup rubbish truck crash leaves young man fighting for life

Chloe FraserThe West Australian
Major Crash are investigating after a car collided with a truck at the intersection of Ennis Avenue and Elanora Drive this morning.
Camera IconMajor Crash are investigating after a car collided with a truck at the intersection of Ennis Avenue and Elanora Drive this morning. Credit: Chloe Fraser/Sound Telegraph

A young man is fighting for his life after a dramatic collision with a rubbish truck at a known blackspot, causing chaos for motorists trying to get to the nearby hospital.

A 21-year-old man is in a critical but stable condition after the car he was driving collided with the truck at the intersection of Ennis Avenue and Elanora Drive this morning.

The incident comes less than two months after a driver of a Landcruiser allegedly ploughed into a car just metres away from today’s tragedy, killing two 27-year-old women.

Police say that about 5.46am today a green Hyundai Excel was travelling east on Elanora Drive before colliding with a white and blue rubbish truck that was travelling south on Ennis Avenue.

The young man suffered serious injuries and was taken by St John Ambulance to Royal Perth Hospital. The 49-year-old truck driver was not injured.

A senior constable from the Mandurah traffic enforcement unit said police believed the Hyundai turned against a red arrow, leaving the truck with “nowhere to go” and crashing into the passenger side of the vehicle.

“At this stage we don’t have any indication why he turned against the arrow. There was a little bit of rain (this morning) but the conditions were still fine. Unfortunately it is a big intersection and very large to cross, but why he turned on a red arrow that’s something we can’t answer.”

The car collided with a rubbish truck.
Camera IconThe car collided with a rubbish truck. Credit: Chloe Fraser/Sound Telegraph

He said two off duty police officers came across the scene on their way to work in Rockingham this morning. They reported the incident with emergency services arriving shortly after.

It is understood the speed of the truck wasn’t a factor.

Surrounding roads were closed in both directions adding to peak hour chaos, banking up traffic and blocking access to Rockingham Hospital via Elanora Drive.

Police reported several issues with people trying to gain access to the hospital around the crash site, with people requiring non-urgent medical attention instead directed to GPs.

Major Crash investigators would like to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the traffic crash or observed the Hyundai or rubbish truck in the Cooloongup area prior to the crash. Anyone that can assist is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or make a report online at

Shane Bradley Pearce .
Camera IconShane Bradley Pearce . Credit: facebook/supplied

Shane Bradley Pearce, 50, is facing manslaughter charges over the deaths of Lauren Jane Prothero and her passenger, Paige May Ward, over the crash at the intersection of Ennis Avenue and Elanora Drive in Cooloongup.

Ms Prothero died at Rockingham Hospital while Ms Ward died at the scene.

Earlier this month, the front page of the Telegraph revealed the intersection of Ennis Avenue and Elanora Drive had a devastating track record, even before the double fatality.

According to Main Roads, in the five years to December 31, 2019, there were 81 crashes at the intersection.

Of those, 72 involved property damage only, two required hospital stays and nine required medical attention.

Findings from the a recent City of Rockingham review indicated Ennis Avenue, which is under the control of Main Roads WA, was already congested past its capacity, with the problem only getting worse.

At the time, Main Roads spokesman Dean Roberts said Main Roads would review and consider the study and its recommendations.

“We will also carry out further investigation into potential measures to improve both safety and efficiency of the intersection, including traffic-signal timing and phasing recommendations,” he said.

Lauren Prothero and Paige Ward.
Camera IconLauren Prothero and Paige Ward. Credit: Kate Phillips

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