Haulage boss whose tipper truck killed four

Haulage boss whose tipper truck killed four

The owner of a haulage company whose tipper truck killed four people after it brakes failed told a jury “it’s so hard to keep track of paperwork”.

Four-year-old Mitzi Steady, Robert Parker, 59, Philip Allen, 52, and Stephen Vaughan, 34, all died in the crash in Bath on February 9, 2015.

But Matthew Gordon, of Grittenham Haulage Ltd, told Bristol Crown Court that although there was no paperwork, his lorries were safety checked every six weeks or so.

The court heard how Grittenham Haulage Ltd had no transport manager employed at the time of the crash, despite it being a legal requirement.

Gordon told the jury he thought he has six months “grace” to find one, but said safety checks would still be carried out.

Accompanied by a support person to help him understand proceedings, Gordon said about the checks: “Some of them might have just gone over six weeks…but if anything I used to do them at three or four weeks.”

The court heard how a planner showing the registration of the lorries were placed on the day when a vehicle’s six-weekly check was due.

On January 17 was the L8 CMT lorry involved in the crash.

Gordon said he had taken on the paperwork for the company after transport manager, Simon Dolman, left in May 2014, and that Karen Wood helped him after she joined Grittenham Haulage as an administrator in about the middle of that year.

He said he asked Mrs Wood to become the transport manager in September and she started the job two days after the fatal collision after just having completed a refresher course.

Mrs Wood was the wife of the self-employed mechanic Peter Wood, who began doing the safety checks and emergency repairs on the Grittenham Haulage fleet in September 2014.

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