Truck death probe
THE BRAKES and condition of the truck involved in Thursday’s fatal crash at Tinana will be the subject of intense police scrutiny as they try to piece together the mystery of how a vehicle could veer off the overpass in a 50km zone.
The semi-trailer speared off the Gympie Road overpass about 8.15am, and the cab was left hanging on the bridge while the trailer smashed to the road below. The driver and passenger, both men from Toowoomba, died at the scene.
Maryborough Police District Acting Superintendent Darryl Powell said forensic crash investigators were working on a report for the coroner.
“There will be an exhaustive police investigation of the vehicle, including a mechanical investigation and checking the status of registration,” Acting Supt Powell said.
“I know the prime mover was definitely registered, as I viewed the registration sticker on the windscreen in the debris.”
He said he did not know whether the trailer was also registered, but that would be uncovered during the course of the investigation.
While some Maryborough residents have described the corner as “very deceiving” and “ridiculous”, Member for Maryborough Chris Foley said he had not received a complaint about that section of road.
“I have received complaints about other roads, but not that one,” he said.
“It is a fairly tight turn, but the limit is already 50km — how much lower can they make it?”
The speed limit was temporarily reduced to 40kmh after the crash.
THE driver of the vehicle has been identified as 49-year-old Toowoomba man Robert Cook.
He and his passenger left Toowoomba in a Martin Transport truck early on Thursday morning carrying tents to the site of the Maryborough Music Conference.
They were just 10 minutes from their destination when the fatal crash occurred.
Martin Transport owner Jeff Martin said Mr Cook was just a lad who loved his sport.
“He came to us as an experienced and skilled operator who wanted to be closer to family and friends,” Mr Martin said.
“He has only been with us since May and was a quietly spoken lad who only said to me last week that he loved being in Toowoomba,” he said.
Mr Martin said the accident has shattered everyone who knew Mr Cook as well as everyone involved with the fourth generation trucking company.
“He was a fantastic lad that was well liked and spoke fondly of his love of fishing and football,” Mr Martin said.
“It is just absolutely devastating; we have never lost an employee.
“Because we are such a small company our employees are like our family,” he said.
Mr Cook’s passenger was also killed in the crash and has yet to be identified by next-of-kin.