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  • Beams death case resumes

    2018 - 07.03

    CASE RESUMES: The trial of a man accused of dangerous driving causing death and manslaughter by criminal negligence has resumed in Bathurst.THE trial of a man accused of dangerous driving causing death and manslaughter by criminal negligence has resumed in Bathurst.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Basil David White appeared in the Bathurst District Court yesterday before Judge Madgwick accused of the manslaughter of Bathurst woman Leonie Darling.

    Ms Darling died instantly when a heavy vehicle, driven by White, lost its load of steel beams west of Bathurst on the Mitchell Highway on July 14, 2011.

    The matter resumed yesterday as a judge alone trial.

    It had originally been set down as a special fixture, but was adjourned after concerns about whether White was fit to plea.

    However, the case was deemed able to proceed as a judge alone matter allows more flexibility in the proceedings.

    In his opening remarks, Barrister Ian Nash, who is representing White, said the trial would now only require 15 witnesses to be called.

    Mr Nash said he didn’t envisage any dispute about the state of the load or the way it was loaded and said White played a role in restraining the three beams, assisted by KGB staff.

    He said he didn’t dispute his client was responsible for the chains and straps to remain tight for the duration of the journey or the details of the accident, or that Leonie Darling died when one of the pieces of structural steel came off White’s heavy vehicle, hitting her car.

    However, he said there were two key factors he would dispute.

    The first, of less significance, was that the softwood dunnage used to hold the load was inadequate.

    Regarding this, Mr Nash said the court would hear evidence there was no legislation or regulations that required hardwood dunnage to always be used.

    He said a load restraint guide, which was of a regulatory nature, recommended hardwood over softwood but there “was no prohibition on the use of softwood”.

    More importantly, Mr Nash also indicated he would dispute the cause of the load coming off the heavy vehicle.

    He said he called into doubt the accuracy of witnesses who say they saw the load moving before the crash, saying CCTV footage taken of White’s vehicle along Durham and Stewart streets show the load as “perfectly all right”.

    He said this was corroborated by two witnesses who were travelling behind White who he said “did not notice a problem with the load”.

    The trial continues today.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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