Dean Willett leaves court after pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention.
Dean Willett leaves court after pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention.

Off duty cops watch prime-mover’s near miss

OFF-duty police officers witnessed a speeding Kenworth truck collide with the rear of another big rig, then attempt to overtake, causing the driver of an oncoming truck to veer off the Cunningham Highway to avoid a head-on.

A decade later, that incident and other more recent offences were finalised by Ipswich Magistrate’s Court, when Dean Willett was sentenced and fined this week.

The long haul truck driver revealed he had been jailed in NSW for separate driving offences.

Dean George Willett, 48, from Corowa in NSW, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to driving a prime-mover without due care and attention on the Cunningham Highway on July 18, 2008.

He also pleaded guilty to being in possession of the dangerous drug methylamphetamine in Carole Park on September 10, 2019; possession of controlled drugs (Modafinil) not lawfully obtained; and driving when drug positive to methylamphetamine in Carole Park on September 10, 2019.

Prosecutor Sergeant Rose Molinaro said Willett’s manner of driving in 2008 had been completely unacceptable and placed other highway users at great risk.

Dean Willett leaves court after pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention.
Dean Willett leaves court after pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention.

The incident took place at 8.30am, with Willett behind the wheel of a Kenworth travelling east through Cunningham’s Gap.

The off-duty officers who witnessed the incident said Willett was travelling too close to another B-double before its wheels locked up and collided with the rear trailer.

Despite the collision, Willett continued and overtook the truck where there was a dip in the road and another truck was approaching from the opposite direction.

The oncoming truck driver was forced to leave the road to avoid a head-on crash.

The off-duty officers spoke to Willett further up the road at Aratula.

Defence lawyer Sam Wildermuth said Willett travelled up from NSW to deal with the Queensland charges.

He said Willett was a former interstate truck driver who now worked only in NSW.

Mr Wildermuth outlined a personal tragedy that affected Willett in 2007, causing his life to go out of control.

Then in 2019, when his father died, he fell back into drug use.

The court heard Willett spent 13 months in a NSW jail.

Magistrate Terry Duroux fined Willett $600 for driving without due care and attention, plus $800 for the two drug offences in 2019, and $600 for driving while drug positive in 2019.

He was disqualified from holding a licence for one month.



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