Truck driver who killed a bus driver after his trailer veered across a road is jailed

Truck driver who killed a bus driver after his trailer veered across a road is jailed for three years

  • Ronald Trevor Gallaty, 67, was sentenced to three years in jail on Thursday 
  • He was driving a truck when its trailer veered across a road and hit a bus 
  • Bus driver Peter Bohlsen was killed in the crash on November 17, 2016 

By Australian Associated Press

Published: 07:17, 15 October 2020 | Updated: 07:17, 15 October 2020

The family of a bus driver killed in a collision on a sweeping bend has wept as the truck driver who caused the accident was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

Ronald Trevor Gallaty, 67, will serve at least 12 months behind bars after being sentenced in the Brisbane District Court on Thursday.

His legal team confirmed to AAP that Gallaty would lodge an immediate appeal.

Ronald Trevor Gallaty, 67, will serve at least 12 months behind bars after being sentenced in the Brisbane District Court on Thursday

Bus driver Peter Bohlsen died after a tipping trailer attached to Gallaty’s truck veered onto the other side of the road, colliding head-on south of Brisbane on November 17, 2016.

The incident occurred on a bend on Waterford Tamborine Road at Yarrabilba which has an 80km/h speed limit.

But shortly before the bend, drivers are advised to take the corner at 40km/h.

One of two passengers on the bus was thrown into the windscreen, hitting the glass with his head.

Mr Bohlsen was critically injured in the crash and died days later in hospital.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Bohlsen’s heartbroken family remembered a kind and loving man who was their rock.

Truck driver who killed a bus driver after his trailer veered across a road is jailed

Bus driver Peter Bohlsen died after a tipping trailer attached to Gallaty’s truck veered onto the other side of the road, colliding head-on south of Brisbane on November 17, 2016.

Daughter Sara Taylor sobbed as she remembered her father’s catastrophic injuries.

‘When he was rushed into surgery, and they tried to stabilise him we were still hopeful … but by the fifth hour of surgery to stabilise him, I knew,’ Ms Taylor said.

‘The briefing with the doctor was shocking. Dad had been degloved down one side and had oozed so much blood they had used up the entire blood supply of plasma in the hospital.’

The family prayed for a miracle before making the devastating decision to turn off Mr Bohlsen’s life support.

‘We stood around his bed, all his siblings, his mum, his kids and his grandkids, all holding him while waiting for him to die.

‘It was the most beautiful and horrible moment of my life.’

Throughout the trial, Gallaty refused to accept his excessive speed caused the fatal crash, claiming the truck’s automatic brake assist system caused the crash.

His defence team appealed for sentencing leniency, saying Gallaty was a ‘good man who led a blameless life’.

In sentencing, Judge Ken Barlow said Gallaty refused to accept personal responsibility for the collision and had a significant traffic history littered with speeding offences.

‘It seems to me you that you have developed a habit of driving your truck and trailer to and beyond the limits of their safe operation and capacity,’ Judge Barlow said.

‘You have developed a cavalier attitude to driving and that attitude is reflected in your traffic history. It is that attitude that ultimately led to the collision on this occasion and the terrible consequences.’

Outside the court, the family forgave Gallaty and said they took no pleasure from the verdict.

‘Heavy vehicle drivers need to remember that they are driving a lethal weapon – sometimes I call it a weapon of mass destruction,’ Ms Taylor said.

‘In just a moment, they can change everybody’s life.

We miss him every day, so please when you drive, drive safely.’

Gallaty was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, suspended after 12 months.

He was disqualified from driving for three years.

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