The tanker driver charged over a fatal crash on Sydney's northern beaches has claimed his vehicle had defective brakes.
Shane Day, 47, was charged with multiple offences, including dangerous driving occasioning death, after the tanker he was driving crashed in Mona Vale last October and exploded.
A driver and a passenger from another vehicle were killed in the huge explosion.
Mr Day briefly appeared in Manly Local Court on Wednesday.
Outside court, his lawyer, Dennis Miralis, said his client would fight the charges.
He said an inspection of the Cootes Transport truck that Mr Day was driving revealed the brakes were defective.
''We have been advised by the police and RMS [Roads and Maritime Services] that a very thorough inspection of this vehicle disclosed that the brakes were defective and not functioning properly,'' he said.
Mr Miralis, who stood in front of a silent, stony-faced Mr Day, said it was rather unusual that Mr Day's employer had given a driver the truck when it had a known defect.
''This is clearly a very traumatic event for my client,'' the lawyer said. ''He not only suffered physical injuries during the course of this incident but he is now going through the incredibly stressful experience of being charged with this very serious offence.''
Mr Day's matter was adjourned to Central Local Court on July 24.