Court date for driver
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.’’
GRIM TASK: Police scour the scene for clues to how a man was killed in a crash