Dale Gadsby 1997

04/05/1997 - Blackwater Mine - Vehicle / Water Truck

Shortly after 12:30 pm on Sunday 4 May 1997 Mr Dale Gadsby received fatal injuries when the light vehicle, a Toyota Cruiser trayback utility, which he was driving collided with and was subsequently crushed by an articulated Euclid 90,000 litre water truck and trailer. The passenger in the Toyota, Mr Evan Graeme Biles sustained minor injuries. The collision occurred as the light vehicle was attempting to overtake the water truck. The water truck operator was unaware of the position of the light vehicle and only became aware of a problem as the water truck began to stall with the light vehicle stuck under the drive wheel assembly.

Immediately prior to the accident, Mr Gadsby accompanied by Mr Biles as the sole passenger in the light vehicle was travelling south along the haul road from the BHP Blackwater Mine Industrial Complex.

At a point about one kilometre south and adjacent to a building known as the large parts warehouse, the light vehicle approached the Euclid water truck which was watering the haul road to the south.

The evidence of Mr Biles and Mr Sullivan indicates that the water truck moved to the left side of the haul road, before turning right into the stockpile entrance prior to the collision occurring.

Mr Gadsby attempted to pass the water truck by moving to the right hand side of the haul road.

When the Toyota vehicle was adjacent to the water truck and past the water sprays, Mr Biles observed that the water truck was turning to the right.

From the evidence submitted, it would appear that Mr Gadsby attempted to take evasive action by moving further to the right and applying the brakes in a controlled manner. The Toyota subsequently impacted with the right hand side of the water truck primemover and the truck's trailer went over the front section of the Toyota.

This accident claimed the life of Dale Gadsby


The recommendations of the reviewers are as follows:

1. An effective communication system that ensures that all persons performing duties within the active work areas of the mine are advised of the nature, extent and location of normal mining activities.
1. (b) This communication system shall contain elements that ensure that all persons are advised of and have sufficient knowledge to identify any abnormal activity.
2. All persons must comply with the safe work procedures, special rules and the manager's schemes for the Blackwater mine.
3. Proactive action should be taken to develop and implement an effective drug and alcohol testing program.