The Queenstown truck driver who caused the death of a motorist last year after falling asleep at the wheel has been approved to drive again.
Brent Andrew Gordon applied for a limited driver’s licence in court today (Monday) so he could return to work to support his family.
Gordon has served nine months’ home detention for dangerous driving causing death, dangerous driving causing injury and for falsifying rest times in his log book on February 25, 2011. He was also disqualified from driving for 20 months.
Gordon was driving a 21-tonne Pumpcrete truck on State Highway 6 near Wye Creek when it crossed the centre line, crashing head-on into a vehicle, killing Invercargill woman Joanne Steel.
Gordon’s lawyer Bill Dawson told Judge Turner that Gordon’s family was struggling because he was unable to return to work, and his employer was also suffering due to loss of income.
Police initially opposed the application because Gordon has historic driving offences and that public safety would be endangered if he was on the road again.
Judge Turner approved the application, allowing Gordon to drive from his Cromwell home to his Frankton workplace Monday to Friday, between 6-8am and 4.30-6.30pm. He also allowed Gordon to drive trucks for the purpose of work from Wednesday to Friday each week between 9am and 4pm.
No conviction after taxi rank injuries
A Queenstown taxi company owner has escaped conviction for accidentally injuring another driver at a taxi stand.
Geoffrey Alistair Knox pleaded guilty in the Queenstown District Court today (Monday) to operating a vehicle carelessly causing injury.
The court heard that fellow taxi driver Graham Dawson suffered a shattered hip and a fractured femur after being crushed by a taxi that was shunted by Knox’s vehicle on October 9 last year.
Dawson, first in the rank, had been standing at the boot of his car in the taxi stand at Queenstown Airport when he was hit by the second vehicle. Knox, third in line, had moved forward but instead of putting his foot on the brake, he hit the accelerator.
Judge Michael Turner accepted the incident was at the lower end of the scale for the charge and that the consequences of a conviction would outweigh the gravity of offending.
Judge Turner ordered Knox to pay $3000 to Dawson and $1000 to the helicopter trust that flew Dawson to the hospital in Invercargill for medical treatment.
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