Driver falls asleep, truck lands nose down after crash

A truck driver fronted the Rockhampton Magistrates Court after he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed his vehicle.
A truck driver fronted the Rockhampton Magistrates Court after he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed his vehicle. John Weekes

A DRIVER who fell asleep behind the wheel when his truck flipped and land on its nose has narrowly escaped losing his licence.

William Stanley Allan, 40, pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court last Friday to one count of driving without due care.

Police prosecutor Julie Marsden said police escorting a wide load came across the crashed truck 25kms east of Barcaldine about 4.45am on November 24, 2016, but the driver was not at the scene.

Defence lawyer Zoe Craven told the court her client had left the scene of the crash to find assistance.

Allan was carting 10,000 litres of water to a quarry at the time of the crash which occurred sometime between 4am and 4.45am.

Ms Marsden said after Allan fell asleep at the wheel, the truck veered on to the wrong side of the road and travelled 800 metres before hitting a culvert and flipping.

She said the engine was still warm when police came across the scene.

Ms Marsden said Allan returned to the scene about four hours later with a visible head injury and sore ribs.

"The vehicle was extensively damaged and had to be towed," she said.

Ms Marsden said Allan told police he didn't recall the accident but suggested he may have fallen asleep.

Ms Craven said her client had not shown any signs of fatigue prior to the crash but admitted he had not had a full night's sleep the night before.

She said since the crash, the separated father-of-two had undertaken a defensive driving course to reduce the risk of such an accident occurring again.

Ms Craven said her client, the bread winner for his children and currently working 20 hours a week, had recently completed a mining induction course with the aim to get more work.

She said his work hours had been reduced after his father died and he had family matters to attend to.

Magistrate Jeff Clarke took Allan's personal circumstances into account when deciding an appropriate sentence.

The court heard Allan could have been sentenced to a six-month disqualification period, but given Allan would have lost his ability to work and therefore support his children, Mr Clarke instead ordered he pay a $1000 fine.

Mr Clarke said this charge covered a range of offences including rear-ending another vehicle.

"You are very fortunate you didn't suffer any significant injuries or die," he said.

Topics:  rockhampton magistrate court

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