27 Jun 2009

Coroner says truckies responsible for vehicle safety

3:37 pm on 27 June 2009

The Northland coroner has reminded log truck drivers they are personally responsible for the safety of their rigs.

The coroner, Brandt Shortland, has released his findings into the death of truck-driver Michael Thorburn nearly two years ago.

Mr Thorburn was driving along Otaika Valley Road, near Whangarei, when an oncoming log truck rolled on a tight bend.

Its load was flung onto Mr Thorburn's truck, killing him.

The coroner found the other driver, Phillip Shepherd, was travelling too fast, and a metal bolt securing his load to the chassis, had failed.

He said a routine check would have revealed fatigue cracking on the bolt.

Mr Shortland said having a certificate of fitness does not necessarily mean a truck is safe, and the onus is on the driver to ensure it is.