Load failure lands $1500 fine

A 71-year-old Cowra man who allowed a car to fall from the back of his tow truck has been fined $1500 at Cowra Local Court.

David Allan Kevin Young of Grenfell Road was before the court charged with driving a heavy vehicle and not complying with loading requirements.

According to police facts on November 26, 2019 Young was engaged by the NRMA to tow a vehicle from a residence on the Olympic Highway at Koorawatha.

Around 1pm he loaded the vehicle on the truck and secured it via the rear differential by a chain to the truck's rear nearside and the winch used to load the vehicle.

Around 1.25pm, Young was heading to Cowra with the vehicle under tow when he negotiated a slight bend at Noonbinna. The truck crossed the edge line into the dirt shoulder and grass. As he brought the truck back onto the bitumen, the vehicle dislodged and fell onto the highway.

The vehicle rolled into bush land, colliding with a small tree and shearing it from the ground. It then continued on colliding with a large tree and causing extensive damage.

Police arrived shortly after and spoke to a witness, Young and the owner of the vehicle. Young told police he believed the chain had snapped.

In an interview with police on December 10, 2019 Young told police he had chained the vehicle to the truck on the rear nearside and front nearside with a chain as well as the truck's winch.

When asked why he had not restrained the vehicle correctly, he told police he had been rushing, it was a short distance and he had never had any trouble before.

Young's solicitor, June Langfield, told the court her client had 51 years of experience and this was the first time something like this had happened to him.

"When he arrived he was met by an extremely hostile female who continued to harass Mr Young as he loaded the vehicle and demanded to be taken along with the vehicle," she said.

"He didn't notice that he had failed to secure the second chain, it was a windy, hot day causing Mr Young to suffer from asthma and he rushed.

"That weather caused the vehicle to come off the tow truck," she said.

In sentencing Magistrate Michael O'Brien said it was good luck rather than good management that no one was injured.

"Given your experience one would think this wouldn't occur," he said.

"I accept that you are a person of good character who is not normally brought to the attention of authorities but this is an error in judgment that could of had catastrophic consequences.

"The circumstances surrounding this incident does not mitigate your responsibilities, go and reflect on this experience."