News

Pig hunter narrowly avoids head on with truck

A PIG hunter who was driving home from a hunt after midnight narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a truck on the Bruce Hwy after he fell asleep at the wheel.

Tony John Lever, 20, appeared in Rockhampton Magistrate's Court yesterday, where he pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention.

Magistrate Jeff Clarke warned him he was lucky to be alive after the accident, where both vehicles were travelling at 100kmh.

Prosecutor Clancy Fox told the court that at 12.28am on January 26 a truck driver had to drive off the highway at Yaamba to avoid a head-on collision with Lever's Nissan patrol after it drifted onto the wrong side of the road.

However, the truck driver's evasive action wasn't enough to completely avoid an accident, with Lever still colliding with the side of the prime mover.

After the crash Lever told police he took responsibility for the crash because he was tired and fatigued.

"He told police he blinked for a second and the truck came out of nowhere," Mr Fox said.

Lever, who represented himself in court, said he needed his license for work, and would lose his livelihood without the ability to drive since he lives by himself in a rural area.

He works as a contractor and also supplies pig meat to the crocodile farm.

He was out hunting for this purpose before the crash.

Mr Clarke said Lever seemed to have a high level of remorse and presented himself well in court.

"Obviously this could have been a particularly tragic incident. You could have been killed," he said.

"It's incredibly dangerous to be travelling while fatigued, especially when travelling at that speed, since it gives you limited time to react.

"The potential for tragedy was very, very high indeed and you're very lucky."

Mr Clarke decided not to disqualify his license, but fined him $900.

"It's in the best interests of the community to keep you as a productive member of society rather than someone who could lose their livelihood," he said.

"Do not drive when you're tired."

Topics:  pig hunters, rockhampton magistrate court



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