A jury has found Mark Neill Ridley guilty of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.
A jury has found Mark Neill Ridley guilty of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death. Claudia Baxter

Truckie jailed for fatal crash

UPDATE: A truck driver who drove his B-Double into the back of a small car and killed the female driver will spend the next five months behind bars.

A jury today found Mark Neill Ridley guilty of one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death following the March 2014 crash on the Warrego Hwy at Hatton Vale.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren sentenced the 39-year-old to two years imprisonment suspended for two years after he serves five months but did not disqualify his licence.

During the trial, the court heard the section of the highway where the crash happened was undergoing roadworks at the time of the crash.

Ridley was driving a Kenworth prime mover coupled with two trailers when the truck collided with the rear of the woman's small Hyundai.

A witness at the scene of the crash, Annalisa Bowden, told the court she was travelling in the line of traffic behind the truck when the crash happened.

She said she entered Linda Elliott's car through a broken window and spoke to her for 20 minutes before she died.

Ms Bowden told the court Ridley approached the woman after the collision and asked her why she "slammed" on her brakes.

Judge Horneman-Wren said it was a "notoriously difficult" case.

"It is a very finely balanced matter," he said.

Tragic Loss: Hatton Vale woman Linda Elliott was killed in a crash on the Warrego Highway Photo Contributed
Tragic Loss: Hatton Vale woman Linda Elliott was killed in a crash on the Warrego Highway Photo Contributed Contributed

 

EARLIER: A truck driver who crashed into a small car at Hatton Vale in 2014 asked the driver why she braked so hard as she lay dying in the tangled wreckage.

The conversation was retold at the Ipswich District Court yesterday during the trial of Mark Neill Ridley.

Ridley has pleaded not guilty to a serious charge following the fatal accident on the Warrego Hwy.

The court heard the section of the highway where the crash happened was undergoing roadworks at the time of the crash.

Ridley was driving a Kenworth prime mover coupled with two trailers when the truck collided with the rear of the woman's small Hyundai.

A witness at the scene of the crash, Annalisa Bowden, told the court she was travelling in the line of traffic behind the truck when the crash happened.

She said she entered the woman's car through a broken window and spoke to her for 20 minutes before she died.

Ms Bowden also told the jury what the truck driver said to the woman.

Crown prosecutor Noel Needham told the court the charge came "as a result of dangerous driving on the behalf of the accused".

Defence lawyer Stephen Kissick said his client was "driving quite conservatively" but there was "urgent stopping and it was very rapid".

The jury retired to deliberate their verdict last yesterday afternoon.


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