Ballina truckie faces Queensland court
By WILL JACKSON
A BALLINA truck driver involved in a horror smash which left one woman dead and nine injured has been accused of using a mobile phone at the time.
Michael Robert Hogan, 36, appeared in Queensland's Beenleigh Magistrates Court last week charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing one count of death and using a mobile phone while the vehicle was in motion.
The accident happened on the Pacific Highway at Yatala on July 24 last year.
Hogan was taking a converted cane bin full of Ballina garbage to the Ipswich tip at Swanbank when his truck crossed over the middle median strip.
It became airborne before ploughing across four lanes of southbound traffic, killing a 23-year-old woman and destroying six vehicles.
Reports said the woman driving a white Ford utility was killed when the truck landed on the vehicle and skidded north in the southbound lanes for almost 100 metres.
The 35-year-old Ballina truck driver, employed by SCT Logistics, which also had the contract to haul cane to the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative's three local mills, was taken from the scene in a critical condition and admitted to the Gold Coast Hospital.
Nine other people were also admitted to the hospital.
Beenleigh Accident Investigation police spent months investigating the incident, including viewing footage from M1 motorway cameras, before charging Hogan.
He was bailed to appear again on July 3.