Firefighters work to free James Redell Walters from his truck after the crash at Bakers Creek.
Firefighters work to free James Redell Walters from his truck after the crash at Bakers Creek. Tony Martin

Truckie awarded $480k in compensation for injuries in crash

A MOTORING enthusiast has been awarded more than $480,000 in compensation for the injuries he sustained in a horror crash south of Mackay.

James Redell Walters sustained a number of injuries in a truck crash on January 19, 2011, near the Bakers Creek Bridge on the Bruce Highway.

The Mackay District Court heard Mr Walters stopped his truck behind another truck before a third truck hit him from behind which forced him into the back of the first truck causing extensive damage to his vehicle.

Mr Walters was trapped in his truck for some time after the crash.

The steering wheel trapped his legs after the steering column and the driver's side door crushed inwards.

The door had to be cut away to free his legs and it was noted that he had a piece of metal from the door sticking into his right leg.

The court heard Mr Walters had suffered significant long-term psychical and psychological issues arising from the crash.

Judge Brian Harrison found Mr Walters to be a credible witness and believed he had been truthful when giving evidence during the two-day hearing last month.

"Whilst the psychical injuries clearly limit the type of trucking work available to the plaintiff, the phobias, if they can no longer be treated, will also have some impact on his earning capacity," he said.

"This is particularly so with his inability to apply for positions involving cab-over trucks."

Judge Harrison said, in a written judgment, that Mr Walters' future was uncertain because of the combination of his physical and psychological injuries.

"He will find work as a truck driver from time to time, but will have real difficulty finding alternative employment as and when different positions cease," he said.

"The range of truck driving positions open to him is now far narrower than it was prior to the accident despite the restrictions associated with the lower back injury and, to a lesser extent, the shoulder injury."

Judge Harrison awarded Mr Walters $480,281.42 in compensation which took into account past and future economic losses.



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