The truck crash in 1999.
The truck crash in 1999.

Crash fallout

A TRUCK boss faces a $550,000 fine today after failing to ensure the safety of one of his long-haul drivers who died after crashing his semi-trailer near Grafton six years ago.

Darri Haynes, 37, was killed when he crashed his semi-trailer into another truck on the Pacific Highway at Tyndale, in 1999.

In a landmark case that confirmed a driver's truck is his workplace, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) found Mr Haynes' employer Jim Hitchcock guilty of failing to provide safe working conditions. Hitchcock denied the charges .

Handing down his judgment in October, NSW IRC vice-president Justice Michael Walton said the case 'painted a sobering picture of the risk for long-distance truck drivers of driving when fatigued'.

He said the company 'pressured its drivers to meet delivery deadlines' and 'paid very little, if any, heed to the risk, either to its employed drivers or to anyone else at risk of an accident' due to fatigue.

HITCHCOCK faces a $550,000 fine, but the Transport Workers' Union (TWU) said it would prefer to see the truck company owner behind bars.

"It's appropriate that he spend some time behind bars thinking about what he's done," a TWU spokeswoman said.

"No fine can equal the price of a life."



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