FILE SHOT: Bundaberg court house Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
FILE SHOT: Bundaberg court house Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN110814CRT1

Driver found not guilty of causing crash

THE relief on Matthew Stephen Brome's face was evident as he made his way from the dock after a jury cleared him of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.

In the Bundaberg District Court on Tuesday Mr Brome, 27, was found not criminally liable for the head-on crash on the Burnett Hwy north of Eidsvold which left a woman with two fractured legs.

On September 13, 2013, Brisbane sheet metal workers Mr Brome and Dennis Smith were travelling in convoy from Brisbane to Townsville for work.

Mr Brome was driving the work van while Mr Smith was riding his own motorcycle.

Mr Brome, who crossed double white lines to overtake a cattle truck pulling off the highway, gave evidence that the driver of the truck had put his arm out the window and signalled for them to go around.

But what Mr Brome didn't know was Sandra and Ron Lowe were around the corner, approaching from the opposite direction.

Giving evidence for the defence, Mr Smith supported Mr Brome's version of events and said the truck driver put his arm out the window and waved him around.

"He stuck his arm out the window indicating to go around," he said.

Under cross examination Crown prosecutor David Finch put it to Mr Smith that the truck driver did not make a gesture.

"You can suggest anything you want, it's what happened," Mr Smith replied.

Making his closing argument before the seven-man, five-woman jury retired to consider its verdict, defence barrister Stephen Kissick said Brome "gave evidence that he was given a clear indication from a driver of a truck who he understood would have clear vision".

Mr Kissick said his client's legal defence was that he had an honest and reasonable - but mistaken - belief that the road was clear and safe for him to overtake.

But Mr Finch asked the jury to consider that it was up to the driver of any vehicle to take responsibility, a responsibility that could not be passed on to someone else.

Ultimately the jury decided there was not enough evidence to prove the Crown's case and Mr Brome was found not guilty.


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