Court date for driver

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Alexis Gill­ham alexis. gill­ham@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A MAN who al­legedly left the scene of a fa­tal car ac­ci­dent just south of Townsville yes­ter­day has been charged.

A 42-year-old Gold Coast man died at the scene af­ter his van and a truck col­lided on the Bruce High­way just af­ter 5am near Ju­lago, be­tween Townsville and of Al­li­ga­tor Creek.

De­bris was strewn for hun­dreds of me­tres, block­ing the Bruce High­way in both di­rec­tions for five hours in the early morn­ing peak hour.

Po­lice will al­lege the truck driver, a 52-year-old Mackay man, failed to re­main at the scene af­ter the crash and was found at a lo­cal busi­ness, Carter and Spencer Pty Ltd.

He was charged with dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle caus­ing death and with cal­lous dis­re­gard.

He is due to ap­pear in the Townsville Mag­is­trates Court on April 19.

The van driver, a Bris­banebased So­lar Shop Aus­tralia em­ployee, was in Townsville for work, pro­vid­ing po­ten­tial cus­tomers with ad­vice on so­lar sys­tems.

The re­new­able en­ergy ad­viser had been with the busi­ness for nearly two years.

So­lar Shop chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony Thorn­ton said the com­pany’s thoughts were with the man’s fam­ily.

‘‘ He was a highly val­ued mem­ber of the So­lar Shop team and will be sorely missed by all of his col- leagues,’’ he said.

‘‘ This ac­ci­dent has come as a shock to us all.

‘‘ So­lar Shop Aus­tralia staff have been en­cour­aged to use our Em­ployee As­sis­tance Pro­gram.

‘‘ The ac­ci­dent is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by po­lice and we are pro­vid­ing any as­sis­tance we can to help with this process.’’

Carter and Spencer Pty Ltd North Queens­land man­ager Wayne Spencer said t he charged truck driver was a third-party con­trac­tor who had been driv­ing from Bris­bane.

‘‘ From our un­der­stand­ing he was un­aware that this in­ci­dent had oc­curred,’’ he said.

‘‘ This sit­u­a­tion re­ally is a tragedy.’’

North­ern Re­gion Traf­fic Co-Or­di­na­tor, In­spec­tor Glenn Doyle said the death was a stark re­minder of the dan­gers on the roads.

‘‘ We just en­cour­age ev­ery­one to go as slowly as they can and drive to the con­di­tions,’’ he said.

‘‘ The sin­gle ve­hi­cle head­ing south looks like it may have col­lided with an­other ve­hi­cle and re­sulted in the man’s death.

‘‘ The sin­gle ve­hi­cle ap­pears to have left the road and run into the em­bank­ment.

‘‘ We’ve got our forensic crash i nves­ti­ga­tion unit in­ves­ti­gat­ing and they will pre­pare a re­port for the coro­ner.

‘‘ The weather will cer­tainly form part of our in­ves­ti­ga­tion as to whether or not the road was wet this morn­ing.’’

Photo: SCOTT RAD­FORD-CHISHOLM

GRIM TASK: Po­lice scour the scene for clues to how a man was killed in a crash

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