Man wins court appeal to have driving suspension slashed

ALARMING: The remains of a tow truck after a crash at Aldershot in January.
ALARMING: The remains of a tow truck after a crash at Aldershot in January. File

A MAN who crashed a tow truck off the side of Aldershot's Farrell Bridge has won a court appeal to have his six month driving suspension slashed to three months.

Blake Joshua Miller, 25, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention in March in Maryborough Magistrates Court, and was fined $1500 and suspended from driving for six months.

But Miller appealed the sentence, arguing that the six month suspension was "manifestly excessive".

The court heard the crash happened on January 10 this year when Miller was driving a tow truck in the southbound land of the Bruce Highway.

Miller fell asleep while driving and when he woke, he saw the truck veering to the left, so he steered right and said he believed the back wheel hit the guard rail of the bridge.

The truck then came off the bridge on the opposite side.

Miller was breath-tested by police at the scene, but returned a negative result.

Evidence given to the court showed that Miller had been fatigued when the crash happened, having slept for five hours before his shift from 7.30pm to 12.30am.

He told police that prior to the crash he "felt his eyes getting tired" so he put the window down and continued driving.

Police also found the back wheels of the truck were devoid of tread and Miller said he was not aware of that as he did not conduct the proper inspection of the truck before starting his journey.

Magistrate John Smith heard the case in March and gave the initial sentence.

In August, the appeal was heard in the District Court of Queensland by Judge Helen Bowskill.

Judge Bowskill said it was clear Mr Smith considered the circumstances of the offence very serious as Miller was a professional truck driver using the Bruce Hwy and he had warning signs of being tired but did not heed them.

"The Magistrate clearly considered there was a need for community protection in the circumstances," Judge Bowskill said in her judgement.

She found a period of suspension was appropriate, but that an error "has been made in the exercise of the discretion by the magistrate in setting the period of the disqualification", and said Mr Smith could have been assisted if he had been referred to comparable decisions in handing down the sentence.

Judge Bowskill ordered the Commissioner of Police, the respondent in the matter, to pay Miller $412.50 for the cost of the court transcript, but ordered each party to pay their own legal fees.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads was approached to try to ascertain the cost of rebuilding the section of the bridge that was damaged in the crash.

"We are in the process of negotiating an outcome with the parties involved in the crash at Aldershot," the spokeswoman said.

"For legal reasons we are not able to provide the cost of repairs to the bridge at this stage."

Topics:  maryborugh

Childhood obesity on the rise

The Cancer Council would like to see cheaper healthy foods available in supermarkets.

Queensland is home to the largest number of childhood obesity cases

Snake makes a meal out of kangaroo joey

DONE LIKE A DINNER: The joey was no match for a python at Deepwater this week.

Python makes a meal of kangaroo joey

MP: 'This animal is going to cost society millions'

Kevin Hogan MP for Page.

Kevin Hogan considers capital punishment in case of monster parents

Local Partners

Greg and Christine find a new (gold) lease on life

Christine and Greg Clark star in the TV series Aussie Gold Hunters.

COUPLE reckons there’s nothing like finding your first gold nugget.

Race facts and stats a winning combination

Impress colleagues with Melbourne Cup trivia

Birdy's voice soars during concert

English singer Birdy proves her skill during a recent concert.

The singer, 20, has acquired mythical status in the music world

Miley Cyrus finally confirms engagement to Liam Hemsworth

Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus.

Eccentric singer confirms long-held rumour

Former Oasis frontman threw popcorn at his brother

The Gallagher brothers have famously feuded for many years.

Oasis brothers still haven't made up

OUR SAY: Why musicians should be called 'tradies'

Should bands be paid every time they play? Journalist and musician Tom Gillespie thinks so.

We need to change the way we think about musicians.

6 auctions on the Fraser Coast this weekend

No Caption

On the hunt for a new house?

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

6 houses in Gympie under $200,000

$170, 000, 9 Norman St, Gympie

These Gympie houses are perfect for investors or first home-buyers

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!