Coen Fraser would have turned 27 today.
Coen Fraser would have turned 27 today.

SARTA hails crash victim Coen Fraser a hero

SOUTH Australian Road Transport Association boss Steve Shearer has hailed Coen Fraser as a hero.

Coen died on Thursday in a horror crash on the Sturt Highway at Truro during a dust storm just days before his 27th birthday.

It is believed that Coen swerved to avoid a car parked in the middle of the road and crashed head-on into a semi-trailer being driven by Brendan Giles, 64.

Both men were killed.

Mr Shearer said Coen's family were devastated by the crash and that SARTA thought his heroic decision not to drive into the back of the car should be recognised.

"His only certainty would have been that if he hadn't changed lanes then the people in that car, in all probability, would be dead," he said.

Mr Shearer said he had no complaint with the woman in the car, who had parked her car out of fear of the dust storm and called triple zero to ask for advice on what to do.

He was furious that police withheld that information from the media and from Coen's family.

He said that Police Commissioner Grant Stevens should have "known better" when he made comments the day after the crash "blaming the drivers".

Mr Stevens had said during a press conference last week about the road toll that while the dust storm could be a contributing factor, but dangerous driving or distraction was to blame.

"The Commissioner would or should have known that Coen was crawling along at 45km/h, when he came across that vehicle," Mr Shearer said.

"When he came across that vehicle, he immediately alerted the drivers behind him and made an instantaneous decision to go around that vehicle, not knowing what was coming."

A police spokeswoman told the Adelaide Advertiser that Mr Stevens stood by his comments and that the investigation into the circumstances was continuing.

"It has been reported that a vehicle was stationary on the road prior to the collision," she said.

"The preliminary investigation indicates this is not correct, nor was a 000 call made prior to the collision."