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Australia Double fatal crash driver jailed one year

04:37  25 february  2021
04:37  25 february  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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A driver who caused two deaths in a fiery Wollongong highway crash has been jailed for at least 12 months.

a man wearing glasses: Graham Squires has been jailed for causing two deaths in a fiery Wollongong highway crash. © Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS Graham Squires has been jailed for causing two deaths in a fiery Wollongong highway crash.

Graham William Squires was found guilty of dangerous driving after merging without enough distance in front of a B-double truck on the M1 Princes Motorway on Friday, June 28, 2019.

The truck driver was forced to slam on his brakes in peak-hour traffic causing multiple cars to pile up with one bursting into flames, killing both people inside and injuring others.

"The full horror of what happened behind the B-double was not apparent" to Squires until two hours later during his police interview.

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After a Wollongong jury found Squires guilty on two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death, Judge Stephen Norrish sentenced the now 67-year-old on Thursday in the NSW District Court to a maximum term of three years in prison.

He noted the special circumstances of him being the sole carer of his disabled son and his record of good character.

Judge Norrish acknowledged many aggravating circumstances including excessive speed, alcohol or drug consumption, and erratic driving were not causative features of the crash but there was a "brief period of reckless judgement".

While Squires had indicated that he was changing lanes at the Mt Keira Road overpass the moment he moved it was no longer safe to do so, Judge Norrish said.

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Squires' defence earlier argued the B-double truck had been tailgating dangerously and not leaving enough room, but the Crown rejected this saying there was never a safe space to merge.

Hailing from the NSW mid-north coast, Squires felt totally uncomfortable driving in that area in the heavy amount of traffic that day, the court heard.

Judge Norrish accepted Squires showed genuine remorse for the consequences of his driving and could empathise with the grief of the families involved, having already lost his wife to complications from breast cancer.

After he was sentenced Squires had a moment to warmly embrace one of his sons and pat him on the back before being led away in handcuffs.

Tigers great Hart in hospital after crash .
Richmond VFL premiership hero Royce Hart is in hospital after being involved in a head-on car crash in Hobart on Sunday.The 73-year-old, a two-time VFL premiership captain, is reportedly set to undergo surgery on a broken arm.

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