Road crash expert in inquest
A ROAD crash expert with the Department of Transport and Main Roads focused his attention on a fatal smash in September 2008, describing the incident as “a complex sequence of collisions” at yesterday’s coronial inquest in Gympie.
David Tullock responded to questions about the change of surface on the section of highway where the crash occurred, which “transitioned” from open graded asphalt (Novachip) to stone mastic asphalt.
Counsel assisting, Andrew Wallace asked if the change of surface had any bearing on the pantec losing control on the wet road.
Mr Tullock said if the brake application was such that the vehicle was close to lock up, then transition onto a different surface with less friction may affect how a vehicle handled.
He said the locking up of the pantec’s brakes occurred, “somewhere close to that transition whether it occurred close to it or on it is something I could not tell you”.
Mr Tullock explained to the court how he came to the conclusion that when the driver of the pantec applied the brakes significantly (because vehicles were braking in front of him), the “almost empty” vehicle’s rear weight “pitched” forward, causing a loss of control (like a handbrake stop) and the clockwise rotation of the vehicle.
He stated that “…loss of control of back tyres is the most dangerous thing that can happen on the road.”
Mr Tullock discounted the theory that the log truck shunted the pantec.
The inquest will recommence in Gympie on July 22.