A Perth truck driver has been found guilty of dangerous driving after causing the death of a tow truck operator on Roe Highway in 2013.
The accident took place on Christmas Eve when the victim, Astrid Hall was standing in the emergency lane, loading a broken-down car onto her tow truck.
The truck driver, Perth based Lindsay James Lucas, 58 was seen by witnesses drifting in and out of the emergency lane prior to the crash.
Hall was struck by the truck and died shortly after.
During the trial, prosecutors spoke about how the truck driver had been seen continuously veering in and out of the emergency lane with one witness having seen the driver looking into his lap for about 15 to 20 seconds.
Mr Lucas was originally due to stand trial in June last year but a warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear in court. He apparently tried to fake his death.
This post on Abc.net.au explains,
At the time, the court was told Lucas’s utility had been found abandoned in Bakers Hill, with notes inside addressed to his family, prompting the judge to say it appeared Lucas wanted people to think he had intended to take his own life.
However he was found in poor health by a member of the public two months later in a shed near where his utility had been found.
He has been in custody ever since.
The accused attended the trial in a wheelchair. His lawyer said his health had been affected by the ordeal and that the death of Ms Hall had taken “a great toll” on Mr Lucas. He also stated that due to the stress, the defendent no longer had full control of his speech.
The article went on to explain:
He was again remanded in custody until a sentencing hearing later this month, however prosecutor Bernard Standish noted that with the time he had already served in custody, Lucas may be “getting close” to having served a full jail term for the offence.
Mr Standish also expressed concern about where Lucas might go after he was released, saying his relationship with his family appeared to have broken down.
The Judge, Julie Wager said she was “mindful of the long time” that Mr Lucas had already spent in custody, and noted there were “aspects of his life” that meant his case may “not be a suitable vehicle for general deterrence”.
The judge also ordered psychiatric reports on the truck driver be made available to her.