Good turn follows bad for truckie, now working for safety
A BRISBANE truck driver who drove a B-double straight off a bend on the Wide Bay Highway, near Goomeri, told Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday he believed he had experienced a "micro-sleep."
Rhys Adam Gertson, 47, of Stafford, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention on June 15.
The court was told police were called to a single-vehicle crash scene about 2km east of Goomeri at 7am.
Police saw he had driven off the highway into trees and police saw two shipping containers which had come off his vehicle.
He had "failed to negotiate the bend and drove straight off the road," the court was told.
He had showed zero in a breath test and had voluntarily attended in company with his employer.
He was remorseful and helpful to police.
Gertson told the court he was going to a sleep study and had got up in front of more than 100 fellow employees and spoken about details of the crash.
"I had a sleep apnoea test.
"This is the first time it's ever happened and I have been running that route for the past four months," he said.
"I'm not driving at the moment pending test results," he said.
"This is a dangerous incident," magistrate Chris Callaghan said. "You put yourself in danger and put the public in danger.
"But I accept you've been very pro-active in attending a sleep clinic and seeing a doctor about your health.
"There were about 140 drivers you're talking to and that might have saved lives.
"I'm not going to take your licence," Mr Callaghan said. "But you will lose three demerit points, taking you to 11."
He fined Gertson $300 with no conviction recorded.