Local News

Driver Takes Stand Against Cleanaway for Fatal Freeway Crash


The man behind the wheel of a truck that smashed into cars at the bottom of the freeway and killed two people five years ago, has taken the stand against his former employer in Court.

On Monday 2 December, the driver told the Adelaide Magistrates Court that the August 2014 incident occurred on his first week on the job with Cleanaway and that he tried to slow the truck with its brakes.

"I was trying to slow it so I could get it into a lower gear... there was no air in the brakes. It was going too fast to shift," he said.

The driver lost control of his sewage truck and smashed into cars waiting at the lights at the bottom of the South Eastern Freeway that day, killing Thomas Spiess (56) and Jacqueline Byrne (41).

The driver also lost one of his legs in the crash.

Comcare, the national workplace safety regulator, is prosecuting Cleanaway over seven counts of failing to comply with its health and safety duty.

The truck driver has been given immunity from criminal prosecution.

Photo of Adelaide Magistrates Court by Scott W., WikiCommons