Driver killed as milk tanker crashes into cafe, causing traffic chaos

A truck driver is dead after his tanker carrying 20,000 litres of milk crashed into the front of a cafe and burst into flames in Sydney's inner west, forcing the closure of Parramatta Road for more than seven hours.

A witness claimed the driver may have braked to avoid hitting a car ahead when the tanker veered across the median strip, onto the wrong side of Parramatta Road and into the Ottoman Style cafe and restaurant in Croydon about 11.30pm on Thursday.

The male driver was trapped inside the truck's cabin, and died at the scene.

Residents in apartments above the cafe were evacuated following the crash, with witnesses reporting smoke coming from the building and fears that it could collapse due to structural damage.

The truck was a McColl's Transport vehicle carrying 20,000 litres of milk.

A spokesman for McColl's, which is Australia's largest independent milk, chemical and dangerous goods transport carrier, said he could not provide any details about the crash or the driver.

Parramatta Road was closed in both directions until the the morning peak on Friday while police and emergency services attended the scene.

When an initial attempt was made to remove the truck, part of the cafe roof collapsed and surrounding buildings were evacuated.

Early on Friday the tanker was dislodged and moved back a few metres with only small debris falling.

The closure of the major arterial caused major traffic delays in the inner west, which were compounded by a number of other crashes around the city and the closure of parts of the Bankstown and Inner West train lines.

In Croydon, east-bound traffic was diverted via Harris Road and west-bound traffic was diverted via Great North Road around the crash scene.

Traffic had banked up four kilometres to Sydney Olympic Park by 6.30am.

City-bound lanes on Parramatta Road re-opened just before 7am, but not before Parramatta Road was backed up six kilometres to the M4 and Sydney Olympic Park.

Just after 8am, one west-bound lane of Parramatta Road at Croydon also reopened.

However motorists were warned to expect major delays throughout Friday morning.

Commuters were advised to catch trains, however parts of the Inner West and Bankstown train lines were then closed on Friday morning due to urgent overhead wiring repairs at Regents Park.

The lines were partially closed between Bankstown and Lidcombe and between Sefton and Lidcombe due to the wiring problems.

A major crash on the Anzac Bridge and the Gore Hill Freeway also caused traffic chaos.

The Anzac Bridge crash occurred just before 8am and closed one city-bound lane. Delays stretched into Lilyfield.

The smash on the Gore Hill Freeway occurred at Naremburn near the Willoughby Road merge, with delays stretching back to the Lane Cove tunnel.

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