Defect notices issued after double fatal accident at Erskine Park

SYDNEY: Police have described the fatigue management practices of a trucking company linked to a double fatal accident in Sydney’s west last week as “a recipe for disaster”.

Two truck drivers, aged 46 and 50, were killed when a prime mover crossed onto the wrong side of the road and collided with an Austral Bricks truck at Erskine Park on Thursday.

The trucks ignited in flames moments after impact, and local factory workers described hearing several loud explosions.

Officers from the Traffic and Highway Command  examined the company’s fatigue management practices and the work diaries of drivers. “What we’ve seen this morning is very poor evidence of fatigue management,” he said. “Those documents that we’ve seized this morning … will form part of a chain of responsibility investigation.

Officers issued major defect notices for two trucks for a range of mechanical and brake issues and oil and fuel leaks, after inspecting 14 trucks.

They also issued several minor defect notices, with problems with the trucks also including bald tyres.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Acting Assistant Commissioner David Driver said safety should be the priority for all heavy vehicle operators. “With defects, fatigue, and other issues identified, we will work closely with Roads and Maritime Services to ensure operators are complying in the hope that we can prevent future tragic events,” he said.

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