A transport company in Adelaide’s north is being investigated for negligent manslaughter after one of its drivers died in an accident last month.  The 45-year…-old truck driver from Salisbury died on March 7 after slamming into a road sign on Main South Road in Happy Valley.
South Australia Police believes faulty brakes were the cause of the accident and are examining whether the company was involved in a deliberate and systematic failure to comply with vehicle standards.
Officers seized several documents from the company last week and examined 11 trucks. South Australia Police claims the trucks had several mechanical problems, including serious brake deficiencies.  Detective Chief Inspector Greg Hutchins has used the incident to remind the trucking industry of its responsibility for the welfare and safety of employees.
“Those who own or are responsible for the maintenance of heavy vehicles are on notice,” he says.   “If your failures result in the death of an employee, or an innocent member of the public, we will rigorously investigate and lay a criminal charge wherever possible.”
Investigators have spoken to a number of former employees and are now asking for anyone who may have information about the roadworthiness of the truck to come forward.   Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) Executive Director Steve Shearer has described the police force’s actions as outside the norm.  “The police are taking action that is very unusual for them to take to go outside trucking legislation,” he says.
“That tells you whatever the circumstances are that they think they’ve spotted they see it as far more serious and culpable that your normal problems you might see in [a] minority of trucking companies.
“It just goes to show that the police are prepared to go to the Crimes Act, so anyone out there who thinks that they can’t be touched by the chain of responsibility laws may start to think again.”