Boy’s death, skipper cleared
THE DRIVER of a speedboat that hit and killed eight-year-old Jyah Lamb on Tinana Creek last November has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Jeffrey Ussher, 25, was charged with dangerous operation of a vessel causing death.
After a two-day committal hearing in the Maryborough Magistrates Court, defence solicitor Bill Potts said the charge should be dismissed. Mr Potts said a properly instructed jury would be unable to convict Ussher and that Jyah Lamb’s death was a tragic accident.
The court sat until 8pm on Thursday, when Magistrate John Smith dismissed the charge against Ussher.
“Mr Ussher and his family were very pleased but their joy was also tinged with sadness,” Mr Potts said from his Gold Coast office yesterday.
“In this case there were no winners – it’s something the Lamb family and Jeffrey will have to live with for a very long time.”
Maryborough MP Chris Foley, whose daughter Katie saw the fatal crash, sat in the court until the case against Ussher was dismissed.
“In the end the magistrate asked Jeff to stand up and he said there was no reasonable prospect of a jury convicting him and that he was dismissed,” Mr Foley said.
“We were all stunned.
“There were lots of tears and the whole party went out for a few drinks afterwards.
“Jeff’s had his life turned upside down for the past year and at the same time we all feel very sad for the Lamb family.
“My understanding is that Craig Lamb (Jyah’s father) didn’t want to press charges against Jeff – he didn’t blame Jeff.
“It was a huge relief.”