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Witness says truck in fatal crash had faulty brakes

The scene of a crash involving two trucks and a utility at Apple Tree Creek.
The scene of a crash involving two trucks and a utility at Apple Tree Creek. Brittany Cook

A TRUCK involved in a horrific fatal crash at Apple Tree Creek had faulty brakes, according to evidence given in Bundaberg Magistrates Court.

Truck driver Maxwell John Rice is charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death or grievous bodily harm relating to a smash on the Bruce Hwy in November 2012.

The crash involved two trucks and a utility and reports at the time suggested the ute was crushed by the second truck driven by Rice.

A 27-year-old Carindale man was killed in the smash and it is alleged his brother, the driver of the ute, suffered grievous bodily harm.

Department of Main Roads Transport Inspector Mark Williams was called as a witness during a short committal hearing today.

Defence barrister James Godbolt asked Mr Williams what visual observations he made regarding the condition of the prime mover and trailer.

"Effectively the general condition of both ... mechanically were in poor condition, specifically the braking system of both vehicles," Mr Williams said.

"There appeared to be quite a build-up of grime and dust?," Mr Godbolt asked Mr Williams, who agreed there was.

"On the prime mover specifically, yes," Mr Williams said.

The witness said this sort of build-up was not typical.

"Does that indicate to you the vehicle may not have been adequately maintained,?" Mr Godbolt asked.

"It's usually a good indicator, yes," Mr Williams agreed.

Evidence of tests done to the truck showed one axle's brakes were not working.

"So the axle braking system when fully depress(ing) the pedal, it didn't slow or stop the wheels in any way?" Mr Godbolt asked.

"It just didn't stop the wheel - (there was) no lock-up," Mr Williams agreed.

Andrew Augustus, who was with the Queensland Police Vehicle Inspection Unit at the time of the crash, was also called as a witness and gave evidence there was a "major fault" with the brakes.

Statements from 24 witnesses were tendered to the court along with about 25 exhibits.

Mr Godbolt did not contest there was enough evidence to bring the matter to trial and magistrate Aaron Simpson formally charged Rice and committed him to stand trial in Bundaberg District Court at a date to be set.

Topics:  apple tree creek, fatal crash



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