SUPERVISOR SENTENCED OVER FATAL TRUCK INCIDENT

Workplace supervisor Simiona Tuteru has been sentenced for recklessly allowing a drug-affected truck driver to operate a vehicle, resulting in the deaths of four police officers.

The court learned Tuteru had received a text message from a colleague expressing concerns about the driver's condition, yet still permitted him to drive. The supervisor subsequently pleaded guilty to breaching section 26F of Victoria's version of the Heavy Vehicle National Law, engaging in conduct that endangered lives, and was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid community work.

Although facing severe penalties, including potential jail time, the court considered his financial losses and opted for a non-custodial sentence.

The national operations manager of his employer, Connect Logistics, was not as fortunate, receiving a three-year jail sentence for failing to ensure proper safety procedures were in place leading up to the incident.

Connect Logistics also faced a record-high HVNL penalty of $2.31 million for their role in the fatalities.

Despite the horrific outcome, the court determined that while Tuteru should have been aware of the risks, it wasn't necessarily obvious to him that the driver was unfit to operate the vehicle.

Tuteru originally faced manslaughter charges but the court found ‘that on the facts presented’ those charges ‘simply could not have been made out’.

Source: OHS Alert, 8 March

 

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