A truck driver who failed to adequately check his rig and subsequently caused a crash which claimed the life of another motorist has been sentenced to 2 years in prison.
The rear trailer on the truck driver’s road train became disconnected and collided with a car, killing the driver on a narrow Queensland road in November 2013.
It emerged that the driver, Nathaniel Marc Mathies overslept that day and was rushing to make up time on his fourth trip with the vehicle. He was running freight between Biloela and Gladstone at the time.
The 33 year old driver was told to leave his second trailer at Biloela because the road to the east was only 7 metres wide. It was 2 metres less than the width needed to drive a road train through safely.
The Brisbane District Court recently heard that the man didn’t follow his employer’s advice and failed to check the dolly that linked the trailers.
The dolly became detached, which resulted in it colliding with the car and killing Jody Harrison, the driver and father of 3.
The truck driver was sentenced to 2 years in jail for dangerously operating a vehicle and causing a fatality, and will be eligible for parole in 5 months.
The judge presiding over the matter said,
“The accident arose as a consequence of you failing to properly ensure that the second trailer … was coupled safely,”
“You were aware of the requirements and safety checks that should have been done.” Judge Brad Farr said.
The driver of the car suffered a punctured right pulmonary vein as well as a fractured pelvis, he died in hospital a short while after the accident.
The judge noted that while the truck driver was remorseful, a family had lost their father and husband,
“The consequences of this incident have been devastating,” Judge Farr said.
“He lost his life, his children lost their father, his wife lost her husband.”
Mathies was remorseful, Judge Farr found.
While the truck driver was sorry about his role in the crash, he had also since racked up another 3 minor speeding offences which the judge said he found troubling,
“Whilst it is not suggested that excessive speed played any role in the incident that I’m concerned with, you would think that after something like that your road behaviour would be impeccable at all times,” he said.