In this case, we were asked to attempt to locate a vehicle that two previous Investigations Companies had failed to find.
The Plaintiff was alleging that whilst travelling along the Barrier Highway, near Broken Hill, New South Wales, she had approached a truck hauling a large, commercial boat. The Plaintiff alleged she was ‘waved through’ by a pilot vehicle and as she was in the process of overtaking, when truck veered into her path causing her vehicle to leave the road and roll. She ended up with significant injuries.
The vehicles allegedly involved did not stop at the scene and no identifying details were obtained. Local law enforcement were called to the scene but apparently did not arrive in time to gather details of the other vehicles. Emergency services attended the scene but were reluctant to cooperate.
A witness allegedly stopped and gave a statement to Police confirming the presence of the truck but they too were not able to provide any identifying details.
We were tasked to locate the ‘truck’, the driver and the pilot who had allegedly signalled. The Client stressed that if the truck and/or driver could not be located, they would be compelled to accept the Plaintiff’s version of events.
To begin, we requested all information on file. We noted that previous inquiries were quite detailed but focused only on boat companies and boat transport companies in New South Wales. We noted that although at face value the subject ‘truck’ was heading from New South Wales to South Australia, it could just as well have begun its journey from Queensland and had been headed to Western Australia.
Checks within those additional States gave no further leads. Checks with State and Local Government Authorities offered no clues as to the movements of this alleged vehicle.
The alleged Witness seemed to be avoiding our attempts to contact them.
Despite these setbacks, we persisted and eventually discovered that two small, seemingly obscure transport companies handled 90% of all the Nation’s large boat transports. One was located in Western Australia and the other in South Eastern Victoria.
We initiated inquiries with the company in Victoria.
We identified the driver who stated they were driving a Victorian registered semi-trailer, hauling a large fishing boat. We established they were heading west out of Broken Hill and the rear pilot alerted the driver of a vehicle approaching from behind at speed. The truck driver spotted the vehicle in the side mirror and noticed that it was about to overtake without slowing down. In response the truck driver steered to the left and dropped the left side wheels off the road to allow room for the overtaking vehicle.
The overtaking vehicle however, did the opposite and attempted to drop its right side wheels off the road but then the driver appeared to lose control and the vehicle continued veering off the road where it rolled several times.
The truck driver & pilot stopped immediately and attended the crash scene. They noted the driver of the vehicle (Plaintiff), with a dog sitting on her lap. They called Police and an Ambulance, which subsequently arrived. By this time, there were several people in attendance so after waiting a considerable time and as they were certain the truck driver was not involved in causing the crash, they departed.
The truck driver identified the drivers of the pilot vehicles and they gave similar accounts.
Our report highlighted the evidence obtained and given jurisdictional implications our Client had no case against them.