Busy Matilda intersection did not cause Kybong death: judge
A COURT has found the busy intersection at the former Matilda service station at Kybong on the Bruce Hwy was not to blame for a fatal crash that killed a 19-year-old man.
The man's parents took the state government to court, claiming the intersection's (now a Puma service station) construction caused safety problems. But a district court judge has found the state government was not to blame.
Brad Garard, 19, died in 2010 when his car crashed into a B-double as he was turning out of the Matilda Service Station on the Bruce Hwy, near Kybong, south of Gympie, near the bus and truck stop.
Brad had been at the service station and was on his way to work when he went to pull out on to the highway to travel south.
His mother, Lesley Carlson, made the horrific discovery that her son had been killed when she arrived at the accident scene.
Ms Carlson and Brad's father, Glen Garard, took the state government to court, claiming the intersection design was inadequate.
Their main argument was that the position of the stop line - where Brad had stopped for about 30 seconds to a minute before trying to turn on the highway - was outside the various guidelines and standards.
They said Brad did not see the truck because the intersection was constructed in a way that significantly reduced the visibility of the northbound lane.
In his judgment, Judge Brian Devereaux said he accepted an expert's opinion that the intersection's design and construction did not breach relevant guidelines.
He also said the error was that the driver entered the intersection unknowingly and into the path of the truck, rather than waiting for a clear view.
Between October 2003 and May 2010 there had been 10 reported crashes; six of these involved north-bound vehicles colliding with right-turning vehicles from the Matilda Service Station, Judge Devereaux said in his judgment.
But he said he was unable to conclude that the stop line's position affected the safety of the intersection. He also said he was not satisfied the case had been proven that the state government breached a duty
"It is clear there has been no breach of duty in the design and construction of the intersection," Judge Devereaux said.
"The placement of the stop sign and line were within the regulatory framework and a valid response to the site considerations." - Pamela Frost of ARM NEWSDESK