16 Dec 2008

Company pleads guilty over truck crash

4:36 pm on 16 December 2008

A company that failed adequately to inspect a heavy haulage truck that crashed near Wellington has admitted a charge laid after the incident.

A lawyer for Gough Gough and Hamer, which services heavy industrial machinery, pleaded guilty in Wellington District Court to a charge that the company failed to ensure that an action of its employee did not harm anyone.

The vehicle, known as a B-train and with a total weight of nearly 31 tonnes, was travelling down the Ngauranga Gorge in August last year when the brakes failed to respond.

The driver steered towards the roadside barrier and struck one car, shunting it into another before breaking through the barrier and coming to rest in a gully.

An inspection found faults on the B-train's brake assembly which had not been picked up during an inspection at the Wiri branch of Gough Gough and Hamer a month earlier.

An investigation revealed the vehicle had been inspected by an apprentice who had received no formal training in brake systems.

The company will be sentenced next year.