Courier Mail, The (Brisbane), 16/02/2005, pg. 9

A TRUCK driver killed on the Toowoomba Range last year had been travelling at 122km/h with his hazard lights flashing before he collided with the rear of another truck, an inquest was told yesterday.

Coroner Roger Stark found the driver had recognised some difficulty but police investigations found no evidence of what problem had caused the crash.

Three trucks and a utility were involved in the accident at 5.30am on September 8, near the bottom of the range on the down section of the Warrego Highway.

The driver, Tristan James Faulkner, 31, of Toowoomba, died of massive multiple injuries after the cabin of his truck was crushed when his truck’s load of timber and steel moved forward as he struck the truck in front.

Drivers who gave evidence at Toowoomba Coroner’s Court said yesterday the runaway truck changed lanes, clipping the back of a utility, came upon two slow-moving vehicles side-by-side and crashed into a semi-trailer carrying a load of flour.

The driver of a B-double truck said he had been travelling about 15km/h in the right-hand lane at the time of the crash to overtake a semi-trailer in the left lane that was travelling slower.

The force of the impact tore the engine from Faulkner’s truck, sent timber and metal scaffolding spraying up to 100m from the vehicle and tipping the flour load from the vehicle in front on to the
highway.

Another driver not involved in the accident said he thought the runaway truck had been indicating before overtaking, but once it pulled out he could see it was the truck’s hazard lights flashing.

Police investigations revealed no evidence of mechanical faults in the vehicle driven by Faulkner or of the brakes overheating.

Coroner Roger Stark found there was no evidence that any other vehicle or person had contributed to the accident.

Outside the court, Faulkner’s father Trevor Wheeler, also a truck driver, said there would never be an answer to why his son died but the family would now have to come to terms with his death.

Copyright 2005 / Courier Mail