Monthly Archive: July 2017

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Mother and children killed in car crash ‘witnessed by father’

A mother and two children have been killed in a crash reportedly witnessed by their father as he travelled in a separate car.

The three died when their car hit a lorry on the A361 in north Devon.

Emergency services were called to the scene near Aller Cross, close to Lankey Junction, Barnstaple, at 8.25am on Monday.

Police confirm two children and a woman have died following the serious collision on the A361 #Barnstaple https://t.co/ykBnc20uKv pic.twitter.com/ea9hiVZdZB[1][2][3]

— DevonCornwall Police (@DC_Police) July 31, 2017[4]

Inspector Richard McLellan, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said the father was in a different car on the same road, the BBC reported.

He said: “It would seem that a car travelling towards Barnstaple, for unknown reasons at the moment, has crossed the centre white line and hit an oncoming truck.

“Unfortunately the family were travelling in two separate cars but travelling together along this road, so dad was there at the scene as well.”

The carriageway was closed in both directions to allow the air ambulance to land.

References

  1. ^ #Barnstaple (twitter.com)
  2. ^ https://t.co/ykBnc20uKv (t.co)
  3. ^ pic.twitter.com/ea9hiVZdZB (t.co)
  4. ^ July 31, 2017 (twitter.com)
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‘What have I done? What have I done?’ Driver ‘who punched a man into the path of a garbage truck broke down and dry retched after the fatal road rage attack’

  • Tamate Henry Heke allegedly hit a 50-year-old man into path of a rubbish truck
  • Witness told the court Heke dry retched after incident, said ‘what have I done?’ 
  • Another witness said the ‘Maori man’ appeared to be distressed and panicky 
  • Shane Merrigan, 50, died on Gateway Motorway in Queensland 

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Witnesses in the trial of a man accused of punching another who then fell into the path of an oncoming truck have described seeing him dry retch before allegedly telling one: ‘What have I done, what have I done?’

Tamate Henry Heke allegedly struck Shane Merrigan, 50, before the local man was hit by a rubbish truck on the Gateway Motorway at Eight Mile Plains on December 1, 2015.

Heke has pleaded not guilty to one count of manslaughter, as well as not guilty to an alternative charge of unlawful striking causing death.

Tamate Henry Heke (pictured) allegedly hit a 50-year-old man into the path of a rubbish truck

Tamate Henry Heke (pictured) allegedly hit a 50-year-old man into the path of a rubbish truck

Tamate Henry Heke (pictured) allegedly hit a 50-year-old man into the path of a rubbish truck

Witnesses told the court Tuesday that Heke (pictured) dry retch after the incident in 2015

Witnesses told the court Tuesday that Heke (pictured) dry retch after the incident in 2015

Witnesses told the court Tuesday that Heke (pictured) dry retch after the incident in 2015

The court heard witnesses said Heke (pictured) asked 'What have I done, what have I done?'

The court heard witnesses said Heke (pictured) asked 'What have I done, what have I done?'

The court heard witnesses said Heke (pictured) asked ‘What have I done, what have I done?’

Witness Jonathan Spillman told the Brisbane Supreme Court trial on Tuesday he had stopped to offer first aid after seeing a body lying on the road but when he got closer, realised it was too late.

While he didn’t identify Heke directly, Mr Spillman told the court he then turned his attention to a ‘Samoan, Islander type of person’ nearby who had bloodshot eyes and looked like he was in shock.

‘I asked him if he was OK,’ Mr Spillman said.

‘At that stage he held out his two hands and said to me, “what have I done, what have I done?”‘

Earlier, fellow driver Eleanor Woodman also said she saw a ‘Maori’ man punch a Caucasian man in the face, then grab his head, pace up and down and dry retch after the collision with the truck.

‘He was very distraught,’ Ms Woodman said.

Shane Merrigan, 50, (pictured) was allegedly struck by Heke at a Queensland motorway 

Shane Merrigan, 50, (pictured) was allegedly struck by Heke at a Queensland motorway 

Shane Merrigan, 50, (pictured) was allegedly struck by Heke at a Queensland motorway 

The court heard Heke was allegedly emotional and distressed when he realised what he did 

The court heard Heke was allegedly emotional and distressed when he realised what he did 

The court heard Heke was allegedly emotional and distressed when he realised what he did 

Another motorist, Jade Faulder, dabbed her eyes with a tissue as she recalled seeing a man fall back ‘kind of unconscious’ onto the road after an encounter with a ‘Kiwi guy’, followed by the moment of fatal impact.

Asked by crown prosecutor Clare Kelly what the man who delivered the punch did at this point, she said: ‘He began to panic (and) dropped to the ground.’

The jury has previously heard both men had been making their way home from work before pulling over to the left shoulder of the road and facing each other ‘for about 13 seconds’.

The New Zealander is then accused of then delivering a ‘heavy blow’ to Mr Merrigan’s head, causing him to fall into the path of the truck, which was travelling at 90km/h.

Photographs showing the truck’s blood-splattered undercarriage were viewed by jurors on the first day of the trial.

They also saw graphic footage from a motorway camera showing the two cars pulling onto the road’s shoulder, the men getting out and the moment of impact.

But defence barrister Anthony Kimmins has said his client, a father of three, told police he didn’t intend to get into a fight when he pulled his Holden Astra over that day.

The trial continues.

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References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
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Are pulmonary function tests required for smokers?

In his nearly 25 years as a truck driver, OOIDA Life Member Michael Weaver said he had never been ordered to undergo a pulmonary lung function test.

Well, at least not until recently.

During his most recent Department of Transportation physical, the 54-year-old truck driver from Virginia said he was told the test was federally mandated because he indicated that he was a smoker.

“They said that if you smoke, then you have to do this,” Weaver said. “They said I had to do it if I wanted my CDL.”

Weaver passed the test, which cost him an additional $40 out-of-pocket. However, he said he still questioned whether taking the test was really mandated by the FMCSA.

Dale Watkins, of OOIDA’s Regulatory Affairs department, said there isn’t an FMCSA regulation that requires the test, but it is a guideline for certified medical examiners.

“It’s a recommendation, but it’s not mandatory to have to take a pulmonary function test,” Watkins said.

For truck drivers who believe it’s an unnecessary test, Watkins said they are free to go to another certified medical examiner as long as it is OK with the driver’s motor carrier.