News Crime Magistrate grants Southbank truck driver bail after watching horror CCTV vision

Magistrate grants Southbank truck driver bail after watching horror CCTV vision

Paramedics and rescuers haul the injured from the fateful Southbank corner. Photo: ABC
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A truck driver facing two charges of dangerous driving causing serious injury over a crash at Southbank has been granted bail on the condition that he doesn’t drive a truck.

Police told the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court hearing the 64-year-old truck driver, accused of hitting five pedestrians in Melbourne’s CBD on Thursday night, made no attempt to stop after the collision.

Frank Rogers, of Wyndam Vale, was charged on Friday with two counts of dangerous driving causing injury.

Police alleged Mr Rogers was turning left in a B-double when he cut the corner of City Road and Power Street in Southbank and mounted the footpath.

Four men and one woman were injured in the crash.

Magistrate David Starvaggi granted bail on the condition that Mr Rogers didn’t drive a truck or any vehicle over 4.5 tonnes or more, or towing a trailer of any type.

The magistrate said because Mr Rogers had no prior driving offences, had a stable address, and was willing to give up his passport, the risks could be appropriately dealt with.

The court heard Mr Rogers, who works for chemical transport company ChemTrans, had to use the route because the hazardous materials are not allowed to go through tunnels.

Detective Senior Constable Ben Oliver told the court one of the men remained in a life-threatening condition in intensive care after undergoing emergency surgery last night.

In court, prosecutors showed Magistrate Starvaggi CCTV vision of the crash from the cameras on the side of the truck.

It showed the back trailer violently knocking over four pedestrians and a food delivery driver on a bicycle from behind.

Police: ‘A reckless act’

In Mr Rogers’ application for bail, the court heard he had been driving trucks along the route for 10 years and was familiar with it.

Bail was opposed by the prosecution, with Sergeant Prosecutor Geoffrey Adams saying the experienced truck driver posed an unacceptable risk of endangering others.

Senior Constable Oliver said Mr Rogers made no attempt to stop after the collision or to report the incident to police, maintaining he didn’t know it had happened.

“There was no possibility that truck was going to make that corner in the left-hand lane on its own,” he told the court.

“It was a reckless act, in my opinion.”

It’s not alleged Mr Rogers, who has no prior convictions, deliberately hit the pedestrians.

His lawyer, Stephanie Gillahan argued comments had been made to the media that the intersection was particularly dangerous and long in need of improvement.

The prosecution disputed that.

“The intersection is not the danger, the danger is not driving appropriately,” said Senior Constable Oliver.

Ms Gillahan argued he could be bailed with appropriate conditions, including surrendering his passport and not driving a truck.