News Truck company involved in fatal Victorian crash penalised for various safety breaches

Truck company involved in fatal Victorian crash penalised for various safety breaches

eastern freeway police richard pusey
The crash scene on Melbourne's Eastern Freeway on April 23. Photo: AAP
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The trucking company involved in Victoria’s Eastern Freeway accident has racked up 35 fines after a police investigation uncovered 16 of its drivers were overworked and fatigued, and 19 trucks had defects.

Connect Logistics, the western Sydney company at the centre of the horrific highway crash, had been probed by NSW police after one of its semi-trailers allegedly struck and killed four Victorian officers.

Its driver, Mohinder Singh is preparing to return to court in October, charged with four counts of culpable driving causing death.

Meanwhile, the company which employed him is facing more blowback from the April 22 incident.

Of the 61 trucks that were inspected by police and Transport for NSW, two were found to have “major” defects, including oil leaks and excessive brake pad wear.

Investigators uncovered a further 17 trucks were plagued by minor defects. They included imbalanced brakes, headlight damage, unsecured bolts and inoperative lights.

One driver was charged with “critical hours” fatigue breaches and 15 drivers were issued with fines for overwork resulting in fatigue and “work diary administration issues”.

The police investigation was conducted between May 5 and Wednesday at various NSW locations, including Wetherill Park, Marulan, Wagga Wagga and Pine Creek.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said the force regularly responded to major truck crashes.

“We will continue to work with other police and road agencies to ensure that fleets are safe, and drivers fit and able to operate on our roads,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

The coffin of Constable Josh Prestney is carried at Xavier College in Melbourne. Photo: AAP

Singh, 47, has been charged with culpable driving causing the deaths of Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney.

At a court hearing in the week after the accident, his lawyer Steven Pica said Mr Singh had anxiety and depression and may have had an undiagnosed psychiatric issue his whole life.

He did not apply for bail and is remanded in custody until a committal mention on October 1.

-with AAP