Auckland company fined after rubbish truck death

Auckland company fined after rubbish truck death
Photo credit: Supplied.

An Auckland rubbish truck company has been fined $110,000 after its brakes failed, crushing a worker.

Jane Devonshire, 19, was standing on the back of the Truck Leasing limited (TLL) truck in August 2015, when she was crushed as it slid backwards down a Birkenhead bank.

Ms Devonshire, who was standing on the left hand side of the truck, was thrown from the vehicle before it landed on top of her.

The truck careened 120 metres down the road before falling over the edge. The truck's driver, who survived the crash, had to be cut from the vehicle.

TLL, which owned the vehicle and leased it out to other companies, has been charged under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable measures to ensure the truck was maintained.

Judge Robert Ronayne said the trucks were obviously unsuitable, worn out and in need of replacement - and TLL knew this.

Judge Ronayne said the trucks have a long pattern of safety related defects, and the company were being reactive rather than proactive to repairs.

TLL must also pay $36,000 to the Devonshire family and $11,000 to the truck driver.

Janes' mother, Rona Topia, says the outcome is bittersweet.

"I'm annoyed that it took the death of mine and her dad's daughter to get these stricter improvements on board."

Ms Topia says she still misses her daughter everyday.

"I get up every morning, expect that she'll come home but she's not coming home."