When a Sydney fuel tanker crashed and burned earlier in October, it led to at least five car accident injuries and two deaths.
Not long after the wreckage cleared and victims were left wanting answers, NSW authorities handed more than 100 notices to the company that allegedly may have been responsible for the damaging fire.
On October 1, the tanker truck reportedly slammed into two cars before flipping and bursting into flames – a scene that witness Adrian Hybner told the Sydney Morning Herald was "an absolute inferno."
"We heard a massive scraping noise. We actually thought it was thunder and this big, black ball of smoke shot into the air followed by 50 feet of flames," Mr Hybner told the paper.
At least five victims were sent to Royal North Shore Hospital, where three of the patients were reportedly in serious condition. Witnesses stated they saw someone who they believed to be the truck driver stumble out of the vehicle and walk in the opposite direction.
As many as 14 rescue crews were dispatched to the area to tend to victims and put out the fires.
Car accident compensation could be on its way
Although there have not yet been any reports of victims filing claims due to their car accident injuries, it's likely only a matter of time. NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, who spoke about the crash a few days into the cleanup, stated that the investigation turned up serous brake problems in the truck – a maintenance issue he said was unacceptable.
"As of a few minutes ago, more than half of the fleet that's based in NSW has been inspected," he told reporters on October 3.
"More than 100 defect notices have been issued. We could lose many more lives on the roads due to trucking companies not complying with safety regulations."
The transport company, Cootes, will soon be the focus of an intense investigation to determine if any of its other tanker trucks have the same braking problems.
Premier O'Farrell added that the condition of some of the trucks that have already been inspected was so poor that he couldn't imagine how a fleet manager could let it get so bad.