Auckland Council sued over rubbish truck death

Jane Devonshire
Jane Devonshire

The mother of an Auckland teenager killed after the rubbish truck she was working on plunged down a bank has spoken out for the first time since the incident.

It follows the launch of court action by the police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU) against Auckland Council.

It's been six months since the rubbish truck she was working on plunged around 25 metres down a bank on Hebe Pl in Birkenhead.

The truck's driver survived the crash, but Jane Devonshire wasn't so lucky.

Her mother, Rona Topia, says the 19-year-old was taken from her far too soon.

"It's been a rollercoaster," she says. "First birthday without her, first Christmas, first New Year's without her being there for her sisters and her brothers."

Ms Topia says she broke down when police told her about the death, leaving her family in shock.

"I couldn't put her in a dress because from [the neck] down she was crushed."

Ms Topia says the road wasn't suitable for such a large vehicle, and despite safety complaints from residents, there were no barriers to stop the truck from falling.

"The council knew about the road. The council knew there shouldn't have been big rubbish trucks going down, so why did they send a big truck down that road?"

Auckland Council wouldn't comment on the impending prosecution, but Ms Devonshire's family say it's one of four parties facing legal action. 

The matter is due to be heard next month.

Ms Topia hopes that'll bring both justice and closure for her family.