Was fatal Bruce Hwy crash caused by a sleeping driver?

A Coast pensioner has been refused bail after being charged with drug trafficking.
A Coast pensioner has been refused bail after being charged with drug trafficking. Rockhampton Morning Bulletin

WHETHER or not Roderick Sidney Leach fell asleep at the wheel is a "point of issue" in a district court trial over a fatal traffic crash at Pindi Pindi.

Brothers Mark and Fenton Wooley were killed and Craig Greening was seriously injured in a head-on collision between two vehicles about 6.40am on the Bruce Hwy on October 16 in 2011.

Andergrove man Leach, 61, pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing death and grievous bodily harm.

Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallace said "the issue is whether Mr Leach fell asleep".

"If someone falls asleep while they're driving they are not operating a motor vehicle," Mr Wallace said.

Aaron Murphy was driving the Subaru Impreza that carried the Wooley brothers. They were on their way to the Peter Faust Dam to go fishing.

Leach had been returning from a work fishing trip in Townsville and had had limited sleep in the 24 hours before the crash, the court was told.

Mr Murphy said he'd seen a Toyota Camry, driven by Leach, move into the wrong lane at a sweeping bend in the road.

He tried to take evasive action but the vehicles collided on or near the double lines with the Camry in the wrong lane, the court was told.

Expert evidence suggested the Camry slowed prior to the crash but the brakes were not applied, the court was told.

Both Mr Murphy and Leach returned negative results when breath tested.

Leach told Heidi Holmes, who came upon the crash, that "he didn't know what happened".

Mrs Holmes, who'd been travelling to Brisbane with her husband and three children, said Leach told her he didn't know whether the sun was in his eyes, whether he was on the wrong side of the road or if the other driver was on the wrong side of the road.

Mrs Holmes said Leach had seemed "quite calm".

Defence barrister Stephan Zillman, for Leach instructed by Taylors Solicitors, suggested Mr Murphy had been speeding on the day of the crash.

Mr Zillman said a police expert had calculated that the Subaru was travelling between 118kmh and 127kmh before the brakes were applied.

Mr Murphy said he didn't agree and said he'd been travelling at the 100kmh speed limit. The trial, under Judge Julie Dick, continues today.

Topics:  bruce highway peter faust dam

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