The damaged truck sitting in the emergency lane

The driver of a 60-tonne crane has been questioned by police after his vehicle hit and killed a man securing a load of supplies on a Melbourne highway this morning.

Authorities said a truck had pulled over into the emergency lane on the Western Ring Road at Deer Park to secure gardening supplies amid windy conditions about 7am.

The truck driver and passenger got out of the truck and were checking the load when the crane slammed into the vehicle.

The driver and passenger got out of the truck to check on the load when the crane hit them

The 34-year-old passenger was hit by the passing crane at full-force, and died instantly.

“The passenger was making adjustments to his load when a 60-tonne crane truck struck the rear of the truck,” Detective Senior Sergeant Gerrard Clanchy said.

“We believe at this stage that part of the crane driver’s vehicle was in the emergency lane.

“It’s a tragic scene, there were two occupants adjusting their load parked in the emergency lane, which is why emergency lanes are there.

“They’re not there for people to travel along to avoid banked up traffic.”

The 31-year-old crane driver was taken into custody and questioned at Sunshine Police Station. He was later released, without charge, pending further enquiries.

The man is yet to be formally identified.

The 23-year-old driver of the truck was taken to hospital in a state of shock, but otherwise avoided any injuries. He had moved away from the back of the vehicle when the collision occurred.

Detectives said they have notified the victim’s family of the crash. Police are yet to formally identify the man.