Rockhampton truck driver granted bail after ambulance crash

Truck driver Timothy Lee Wilson, 41, has been released on bail after appearing in Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday charged with two counts of dangerous operation of motor vehicle causing deaths.

It is alleged in the traffic incident that occurred just after midday on October 10, an ambulance was stationary at a roadwork temporary traffic light in the eastbound lane on the Capricornia Highway at Stanwell.

A truck driven by Wilson, also travelling east, collided with the rear of the ambulance causing extensive damage, pushing it off the roadway where it then rolled.

Two people were killed in the incident, including 65-year-old nurse Ray Wyeth and an elderly patient.

Wilson was taken to the Rockhampton hospital in a serious condition. The paramedic who was driving the ambulance, along with two other passengers were also taken to hospital.

Police prosecutor Jennifer Leach told the court she opposed bail, as police felt the accused was a significant flight risk, and that Wilson’s family initially “provided no assistance” to police locating the defendant, reports ABC News.

She said at the time of the crash Wilson was under an intensive NSW corrections order in relation to another matter.

The prosecution also alleged the defendant had exhibited “dangerous habits on the road” in the lead-up to, and at the time of the incident.

“The defendant has been given adequate warning while he travelled on the highway, observed by an 80km/h reduction sign, and then a 60km/h reduction sign” said Leach.

She argued that both the emergency vehicle, and the large truck it was pushed into, would have been clearly visible.

“A clear line of site should have been observed by the offender to be able to stop in time, and observe the reduced speed limits,” she said.

Defence lawyer Rowan King told the court that the evidence was still not clear on what signs were visible in the lead-up to the accident, and that the charges could possibly be amended in the future.

King said his client had told police, “I didn’t see the signs. There were no signs”.

“It could just be the case of a momentary lapse of inattention and not the dangerous operation of a vehicle, which is alleged.”

Wilson must surrender his licence, not consume any alcohol or illicit substances, and will appear before court again in January.

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