Truckie involved in school bus hit and run loses licence
A SCHOOL bus packed with children was struck by a cattle truck last month, with the truck driver fleeing from the scene.
Brett James Kelly faced Chinchilla Magistrates Court for the offence on Thursday, March 19.
The court heard Chinchilla police were called to the scene near MacAlister on the Warrego Highway about 9.30am where they found the school bus, a wide load vehicle and a prime mover carrying cattle, driven by Kelly, had been involved in an accident.
Police prosecutor Jodie Tahana said Kelly didn't stop after hitting both the bus and the wide load truck and continued to travel west-bound on the Warrego Highway towards Chinchilla.
"The school bus had pulled off to the side of the road to let the wide load pass, the prime mover travelling too close to the bus was unable to move safely and then attempted to squeeze between the school bus and the wide load," Snr const Tahana said.
"The prime mover scraped the bus and the trailer of the wide load, causing damage to the wide load and the prime mover."
Snr Const Tahana said once Kelly was found police realised he shouldn't have been driving at all.
"A system check showed he had been disqualified from driving in the Chinchilla Magistrates court on the 5th of December in 2019.
"He told police that he knew it was cancelled but he was stuck for money and was struggling to get by."
Duty lawyer Claire Graham said the truck driver of 30 years was struggling with bills and health issues including high blood pressure, diabetes, sorosis, and leg infections.
"He received his rates, power, registration, insurance, and unfortunately made the decision due to financial obligations to accept the job driving the truck," Ms Graham said.
"He instructs that he has always been an otherwise, safe and capable truck driver.
"(Kelly) has actually had to sell his car to pay for the damage that was done to the truck, which is twofold, the risk of him driving a vehicle is reduced as he doesn't have a car."
Ms Graham also noted Kelly was recently employed to drive dozers and is able to walk to and from work.
Magistrate Tracy Mossop said she recalled Kelly from his last appearance in court and warned the truck driver that if he thought six months of no driving was hard, two years was even harder if he was caught again.
"Three-and-a-half months in and you ran the gauntlet, you only had two-and-a-half months to go… you have given away an awful lot," Ms Mossop said.
"If you drive again with this penalty we're looking at a sentence of imprisonment, got it?"
The 51-year-old single man pleaded guilty to driving without a licence by court order as a repeat offender and was fined $1800, disqualified from driving for two years, and a conviction was recorded.