Tipper truck driver ‘could never have seen’ 16-year-old boy

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Tipper truck driver ‘could never have seen’ 16-year-old boy before he was run over and killed by 11-tonne vehicle

  • George Kyriakidis, 45, has been accused of dangerous driving causing death 
  • A 16-year-old boy died after he was run over by an 11-tonne tipper truck 
  • Kyriakidis had slowed down his truck ‘almost to a crawling pace’, court heard

George Kyriakidis, 45, has been accused of dangerous driving, after crossing onto a painted island which led to the death of a 16-year-old boy

A tipper truck driver made an illegal turn but could never have seen the boy he tragically struck and killed in Sydney, a court has heard.

George Kyriakidis, 45, has been accused of dangerous driving, after crossing onto a painted island which led to the death of a 16-year-old boy.

Kyriakidis had slowed down his 11-tonne truck ‘almost to a crawling pace’, near a busy Bankstown street junction in August 2018.

At the time a school student was running diagonally across lanes of traffic to get to his home in a street nearby.

For most of a four-second period the teenager was running faster than the truck, and for a moment ran in front of the vehicle, defence lawyer Brett Longville argues.

‘That’s the extraordinary and unusual feature of this case,’ he said during his closing remarks.

‘He overtook the front of the truck and why, we will never know, effectively placed himself in front of the truck when the front of the truck was moving away from him.

‘When we get to the point of impact, it’s very tragic, but it’s very clear (the boy) could not have been seen, and nothing could have been done at that moment of time.’

In earlier evidence Kyriakidis said he heard and felt a ‘boomp boomp boomp’ before parking his truck and asking witnesses ‘where did he come from?’

Sarah Jennings, who was stopped in front of the truck, told the court earlier she saw a young boy ‘craning’ his neck in looking for traffic driving the opposite way.

‘I remember seeing the truck begin to turn and I did think, what is the truck doing,’ she said.

Crown prosecutor Mark Hay in his closing remarks said Kyriakidis was ‘driving in a manner dangerous to another person or persons’.

He said it was reasonable to believe a pedestrian may have assumed the truck would wait for Ms Jennings to clear the intersection before turning, and that the painted island would provide a safe island from the traffic.

‘The accused did not stop. He did not bother to check what was coming from the left-hand side….his attention was almost completely taken with what’s happening in the right front corner of his truck,’ he said.

Kyriakidis had slowed down his 11-tonne truck 'almost to a crawling pace', near a busy Bankstown street junction in August 2018

Kyriakidis had slowed down his 11-tonne truck ‘almost to a crawling pace’, near a busy Bankstown street junction in August 2018

He also accused Kyriakidis – who was on a phone call via a hands-free device at the time of the crash – of being distracted and rushed.

‘No one is suggesting for a moment that if he’d seen (the boy) he would have run over him… the case against him is he should have seen him,’ Mr Hay said.

‘If he had taken reasonable precautions…(the boy) would be alive and we would not be here today’.

But Mr Longville said a breach of road rules did not prove dangerous driving, and said the teen had also broken road rules by running onto the painted white island.

‘The shortest safest route’ was a designated pedestrian refuge about 90 metres away.

Kyriakidis has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death, negligent driving and not keeping left of a median strip and motor vehicle.

The Panania man’s trial in the Downing Centre District Court continues.

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