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Families see footage of final moments in fatal truck crash

TRAGIC TIME: Anton McPherson was driving this truck when he collided with a car on the Capricorn Hwy. INSET: Callum Ryan was one of the men killed in the crash.
TRAGIC TIME: Anton McPherson was driving this truck when he collided with a car on the Capricorn Hwy. INSET: Callum Ryan was one of the men killed in the crash. Allan Reinikka Rokacrash

THE families of three men killed in a traffic crash less than two years ago sat quietly in a courtroom yesterday, waiting for their loved ones' last moments to be replayed on a big screen.

They couldn't hold back tears as dash cam footage of the accident was replayed in Rockhampton Magistrate's Court, where Anton Brett McPherson stood charged over the incident.

On October 9, 2014, McPherson was driving a prime mover carrying 50,000 litres of diesel along the Capricorn Hwy at Stanwell.

Around 6.50pm his truck collided with a car carrying Aurizon workers Callum Ryan, 20, (pictured) Neil Pettit, 53 and Maurice Dunbavan, 56 who were all killed in the crash.

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After the incident, McPherson was charged with three counts of dangerous driving causing death, however this was yesterday amended to just one charge.

Defence lawyer Frank Martin put in a motion of no case to answer, saying McPherson was driving in a safe manner and "there was nothing he could have done to avoid the crash".

McPherson was travelling behind the men's car when it indicated left, which prompted McPherson to cross double white lines on a straight bit of road to overtake the vehicle on its right.

Tragically, the 12 second video shows the car then indicate right and turn into the path of the truck, which by that time was in the right hand lane.

The men in the car were on their way to change shifts on Aurizon's coal train and it is believed they made that turn because they missed their turnoff.

The car indicated right about six seconds before the collision and in the video McPherson can be heard yelling something along the lines of "stay, stay!" before the crash.

But police prosecutor Shaun Janes said those six seconds were enough to do something.

"The vehicle is some 150 metres away from the impact point when the defendant says the word 'stay'," he said.

"He has sufficient time to break and stop, or at least avoid such a collision as we've seen in the video … at that point he still takes no evasive action."

No evidence was given in relation to how long it takes for a truck to come to a stop. The court also heard McPherson was not speeding at the time.

Magistrate Jeff Clarke adjourned the matter for March 31 to give his decision on the defence's application.

Topics:  accident, court, fatal, gladstone, gladstonecourt, rockhampton




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