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Truck driver charged over fatal crash that left young couple dead had 'significant driving history' including a suspended licence and numerous speeding offences

  • A truck driver has been charged over a fatal crash that left two people dead
  • Robert Crockford, 50, was driving when his semi-trailer ploughed into six cars
  • The court heard he has significant driving history including a suspended license
  • The court heard Tuesday, he gave difference accounts of what lead to the crash
  • The fatal crash happened near Dubbo in New South Wales on January 16
  • Crash claimed the lives of two teenagers and injured 11 others including girl, 2

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A truck driver charged over a horror crash that left two people dead, had ‘significant driving history’ including a suspended driving licence in two different states, a court has been told.

Robert Crockford, 50, was behind the wheel of a semi-trailer when it ploughed into several cars on the Newell Highway near Dubbo in Central West New South Wales, on January 16.

The crash injured 11 people including a girl, 2, and claimed the lives of university student Hannah Ferguson, 19, and her boyfriend Reagan Skinner, also 19.

Mr Crockford was denied bail when he appeared via video link at Dubbo Local Court on Tuesday, the ABC[2] reported.

Robert Crockford, 50, (pictured) was behind the wheel of a semi-trailer when it ploughed into several cars near Dubbo on January 16

Robert Crockford, 50, (pictured) was behind the wheel of a semi-trailer when it ploughed into several cars near Dubbo on January 16

The court heard the truck driver reportedly told witnesses different accounts of what happened the day of the horror crash described by police as ‘absolute carnage’.

Mr Crockford told paramedics at the scene of the crash that his accelerator became jammed and his brakes failed before he smashed into vehicles stopped at roadworks.

In a recorded interview with the police, Mr Crockford said he experienced a coughing fit and blacked out.

The court was also told Mr Crockford had a significant driving history.

His license was suspended twice in New South Wales and once in Queensland.

A 50-year-old man has been charged over the horrific crash (pictured) which claimed two lives and injured 10 others in the New South Wales Central West

A 50-year-old man has been charged over the horrific crash (pictured) which claimed two lives and injured 10 others in the New South Wales Central West

Charles Sturt University student Hannah Ferguson (pictured), 19, died after the semi-trailer slammed into her car on the Newell Highway

Charles Sturt University student Hannah Ferguson (pictured), 19, died after the semi-trailer slammed into her car on the Newell Highway

He was also previously charged with numerous speeding offences.

The prosecutor told the court Mr Crockford was a flight risk and also a risk to the community.

Mr Crockford reportedly moaned in pain during the hearing and cried at mention of his family.

He was reportedly in a wheelchair due to injuries sustained in the January 16 crash.

Mr Crockford’s lawyer said his client was in ‘serious distress’ and had not seen a doctor since his release from hospital following the crash.

The magistrate refused bail and agreed Mr Crockford posed a risk, the ABC reported.

The 50-year-old driver was remanded in police custody, due to appear in court again in April.

Police will allege the driver of the semi-trailer hit the other vehicles, two trucks and a sedan, while they were stopped at roadworks on the Newell Highway, in Dubbo, on January 16

Police will allege the driver of the semi-trailer hit the other vehicles, two trucks and a sedan, while they were stopped at roadworks on the Newell Highway, in Dubbo, on January 16

Ms Ferguson's 19-year-old boyfriend, Reagan Skinner (pictured) was also killed in the crash

Ms Ferguson’s 19-year-old boyfriend, Reagan Skinner (pictured) was also killed in the crash

Hannah Ferguson (pictured) was one of the victims of the tragedy near the NSW town of Dubbo

Hannah Ferguson (pictured) was one of the victims of the tragedy near the NSW town of Dubbo

A teenage university student and her boyfriend were identified as the victims of the horror seven-vehicle crash, which was described by police as ‘absolute carnage’.

Charles Sturt University student Hannah Ferguson, 19, died after the semi-trailer slammed into her car.

Ms Ferguson’s 19-year-old boyfriend, Reagan Skinner, was also killed in the crash.

A total of 11 others were harmed – including a two-year-old girl – with injuries ranging from broken limbs to suspected spinal injuries.

The impact reportedly threw at least one commuter from their vehicle.

An 18-year-old man in another car suffered burns and was taken to Concord Hospital.

In a third car were the driver – a 43-year-old woman who suffered a broken arm – a 52-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man who suffered minor injuries.

A two-year-old girl named Jalirah was travelling with her family and was freed from the wreck by her uncle (pictured)

A two-year-old girl named Jalirah was travelling with her family and was freed from the wreck by her uncle (pictured)

The fourth car contained a 26-year-old woman who suffered facial injuries, a 24-year-woman who was taken to hospital with a suspected spinal injury, a two-year-old girl and a 19-year-old who suffered minor injuries.

A 39-year-old man driving a utility, and the driver of a B-double, a 27-year-old man, suffered minor injuries and were taken to Dubbo Base Hospital.

The two-year-old girl named Jalirah was travelling with her family and was freed from the wreck by her uncle, 9 News reported.

The horror smash happened near the town of Dubbo - about 400km north-west of Sydney

The horror smash happened near the town of Dubbo – about 400km north-west of Sydney

‘I was pulled out by a passer-by. As I got out I heard bub crying,’ her uncle told 9 News.

‘I grabbed her out, then tried to get the other passenger and the driver. But I wasn’t able to grab them because they needed to be cut out.’

NSW roads minister Melinda Pavey told the ABC[3] a road worker collapsed after witnessing the crash.

‘It is an absolute horror…

We had a worker collapse with shock.

This is a terrible, terrible crash,’ she said.

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References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ ABC (www.abc.net.au)
  3. ^ ABC (www.abc.net.au)



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