Adelaide truck crash claims second victim

A SECOND person has died as a result of a collision at the intersection of the South Eastern Freeway and Cross Road in Adelaide on Monday.

A 41-year-old woman from Ingle Farm who was a driver of one of the cars, passed away on Tuesday evening in the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

About 1.05pm on Monday a Transpacific truck collided with three cars at the Urrbrae intersection.

The ABC reported that a Hallett Cove man died at the scene while the truck driver, a 29-year-old man from Netley had to be freed from the wreckage.

Now Transpacific have grounded their entire fleet of 2800 garbage trucks while investigations continue into the crash.

While the cause of the accident is not yet known, police are looking into whether brake failure or speed played a part.

TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon said the grounding was further proof of economic pressure imposed by clients.

He has suggest that tight client margins and unrealistic delivery or collection schedules could force operators to delay essential maintenance or put pressure on drivers.

"We can only imagine the impact on the families involved, and we send our deepest condolences," Mr Sheldon said.

"Reports suggest the driver had appropriate safety training, and that speed and brake maintenance issues may have been factors."

Household garbage collection is presently suspended in parts of Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Geelong and southeastern WA.

Sydney council areas affected by the grounding include Ashfield, Canterbury Parramatta, Hawkesbury, Hornsby and The Hills and green waste collection in Bankstown.

The acting officer in charge of Traffic Support Branch, Inspector Steve Kameniar, today appealed for any motorist who may have seen the truck on the freeway down track prior to the tragic crash to come forward.

"Investigators would particularly like to speak to any witnesses who may have seen the truck anywhere on the down track of the South Eastern Freeway.  This includes between the tunnels and where the crash occurred as well as before the tunnels," he said.

Police have visited the truck company and inspected a number of vehicles.

They say the Major Crash Investigation Section mechanics will also be conducting a full examination of the white rigid Isuzu truck (with a blue coloured tanker) that was involved in the collision.

Also as part of the investigation into the crash police used a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) over the scene for the first time.

The small, easily manoeuvrable RPA provided quality aerial photography and vision to police on the ground.

"This technology can get to areas where conventional aircraft can't," Assistant Commissioner Bryan Fahy noted.

Inspector Kameniar said that without limiting the scope of the investigation, police are investigating the possibility of brake failure as a cause of the crash.

"With this in mind police are trying to piece together as much information as possible about the truck and its manner of driving prior to the crash," he said.

The truck driver, a 29-year-old man from Netley, and a 48-year-old woman from Hahndorf remain in a critical condition at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. 

Comment has been sought from Transpacific.

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