The truckie facing two charges of dangerous driving causing serious injury at Southbank in Melbourne on Thursday night has been granted bail on the condition that he doesn’t drive a truck over 4.5 tonne.
The Herald Sun reports today that Frank Rogers, 64, was bailed to his Melbourne home, and will return to court on September 27.
Magistrate David Starvaggi said that because Rogers had no prior driving offences, had a stable address, and was willing to give up his passport, the risks could be appropriately dealt with.
The Melbourne Magistrate’s Court heard Rogers, who works for chemical transport company ChemTrans, had to use the route because the hazardous materials are not allowed to go through tunnels.
Footage played twice to the court today showed the B-double mounting a City Rd curb, wedging four pedestrians and a food delivery cyclist between its two trailers and striking them from behind.
Four men and a woman aged in their 20s to 30s were hospitalised, with two of the men suffering critical injuries.
Police told the court that Rogers made no attempt to stop after the collision, which also took out a traffic light.
“It was a reckless act, in my opinion,” said Detective Senior Constable Ben Oliver.
Earlier, his employer K&S Group, issued a statement saying that Rogers was unaware of the incident at the time.
“He has been working for the company for nearly 10 years and was on his way to the depot in a company truck at the end of his shift,” said K&S Group chief executive Paul Sarant in a statement yesterday.
The company said it was undertaking an internal workplace health and safety investigation into the incident.
“Our thoughts are with the people and families of those involved,” Sarant said.
The court today also heard Rogers had been driving trucks for 40 years and had no prior criminal history.
Barrister Stephanie Gillahan told the court Lord Mayor Sally Capp had given interviews on Saturday outlining ongoing issues with the section of road where the incident occurred.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said he had been in talks with Capp about upgrading the intersection.
“We’ve been in discussions about what does this tell us about City Road and Power Street, where we see a large number of vehicles coming on and off the freeway through what’s a very densely populated (area), and can things be done better.
“I’ve already been in contact with our friends from public transport and roads as to what can be done to make sure that that kind of tragic circumstances doesn’t happen again.”