Thomas Albert Nugent is on trial for one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.
Thomas Albert Nugent is on trial for one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.

Truckie accused of killing cyclist reveals final moments

A truck driver accused of hitting and killing a cyclist as he turned into a Townsville quarry told police when he saw the bike rider he "went out wide".

Thomas Albert Nugent allegedly hit and killed Jeff Ashby, 61, while Mr Ashby was on an early morning bike ride on February 10, 2016.

The incident occurred as Mr Nugent turned into the quarry off Echlin St at West End.

Nugent was driving a 21.85m B-double at the time of the incident.

 

Jeff Ashby died after being hit by a truck at West End. Photo: Samantha Healey
Jeff Ashby died after being hit by a truck at West End. Photo: Samantha Healey

 

Mr Ashby suffered a torn spleen that bled into his abdominal cavity and died at the scene.

After the incident, Nugent was questioned by police at the Townsville University Hospital as he was being treated for shock.

"I headed up the street … there was a blue car beside that and I saw the push bike right there," he said.

"I went out wide past him … as I drove around the corner, I looked back and I couldn't see nothing."

Nugent has pleaded not guilty in the Townsville District Court to one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Walklate played for the court CCTV camera footage from a hostel on the opposite side of Echlin St.

The 20 second clip showed Mr Ashby riding a carbon fibre road bike in the left hand lane seconds before Nugent passed and allegedly hit him.

Walklate called on senior sergeant officer Robert Nalder to give evidence to discuss the plan he compiled of the crash scene.

Senior sergeant Nalder said he observed tyre marks on the left hand traffic island on Echlin St at the junction of Stagpole St opposite the turn into the quarry.

"They are consistent with the dual tyres of the truck and they are cutting across the curve of the medium strip of the outside," he said.

Defence barrister Justin Gregory quizzed Senior Sergeant Nalder asking, "with respect to the age of those marks, it's not possible to date the tyre marks with precision … other than to say they were quite fresh".

Senior sergeant Nalder replied, "That is correct".

Senior sergeant David Stocker forensic crash senior crash analyst was called upon next by Mr Walklate to give evidence who identified six sections of the bike that had sustained damage.

Mr Walklate asked, "Aside from the damage to the seat stay and the wheel mount, that was the only damage to the left side of the bike … everything else was on the right".

Senior sergeant Stocker said, "Yes".

Mr Gregory then questioned Senior Sergeant Stocker's bias.

"At the time that you prepared your opinion you had read an earlier report of Sgt Nalder which contained off-tracking diagrams that suggested that the truck had run over the inside of the traffic island; you read that haven't you".

Senior sergeant Stocker replied, "Yes".

Nugent declined the opportunity to give evidence at the trial.

It is not alleged that Nugent was fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time…

Judge John Coker adjourned the trial to sentence at a later date.

Originally published as Truckie accused of killing cyclist reveals final moments