Truck driver sentenced to 9 years and six months jail over Dubbo tragedy

sydney truckie

Queensland truckie Robert Crockford has been sentenced to 9.5 years in jail over the 2018 crash that killed a young couple stopped at a roadworks site.

Crockford, 52, was driving a semi-trailer when it crashed into several cars stopped on the Newell Highway between Gilgandra and Dubbo.

Hannah Ferguson, 19, and her boyfriend Reagen Skinner, 21, both died. Ten other people were injured, including a two-year-old girl.

Earlier this year, Crockford pleaded not guilty to 12 charges, including two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death.

Queensland truckie Robert Crockford. Picture: ABC

In March, a jury found him guilty on all counts in the District Court in Dubbo.

At the sentencing, Judge Nanette Williams extended her condolences to the families of Hanna Ferguson and Reagan Skinner and acknowledged everyone involved.

Judge Williams said Crockford suffered fatigue and microsleeps in the lead-up to the crash.

Crockford only had a combined maximum 10.5 hours of sleep in the two nights leading up to the accident.

He drove through 10 sets of signs warning of the approaching roadworks, including two rumble pads.

Crockford appeared via video link from Wellington Correctional Centre and sat silent, with his head bowed, dressed in prison greens, reports the ABC.

In a letter to the court, Crockford said the “collision changed my life and everyone involved forever”.

He wiped away tears as the sentence was read out.

Crockford will be eligible for parole on January 1, 2025, taking into account time served and a non-parole period of five years and four months.

In her victim impact statement, Deanna Ferguson, mother of Hannah, said she does not blame Crockford but that he needs to be accountable for his mistake.

“I have no animosity towards the truck driver,” she said.

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