Truck driver who caused the deaths of two schoolboys near Dubbo sentenced

‘I am despicable’: Truck driver who caused the deaths of two schoolboys after an 11-hour trip breaks down in tears in court

  • Graham Morrison was near the end of an 11-hour trip to Dubbo when he crashed
  • Two children aged nine and twelve were killed in crash on May 6, 2017 
  • Morrison pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death
  • He wiped tears from his eyes as he apologised to family in court on Thursday 

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A truck driver who smashed into a family car, killing two children, has broken down in tears as he called himself ‘despicable’ during his sentence hearing in Sydney.

Graham Morrison was near the end of an 11-hour trip from Brisbane to Dubbo when his B-double slammed into a four-wheel-drive on May 6, 2017.

Taite Van Der Heyden, 12, and his brother Kobi, nine, died at the scene and their four-year-old brother was flown to Sydney for treatment.

Their parents suffered minor injuries.

A truck driver who smashed into a family car, killing two children (pictured), has broken down in tears as he called himself ‘despicable’ during his sentence hearing in Sydney

Truck driver who caused the deaths of two schoolboys near Dubbo sentenced

Morrison pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and two counts of causing bodily harm while driving a motor vehicle.

Pictured: His truck after the crash

Morrison pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and two counts of causing bodily harm while driving a motor vehicle.

Giving evidence at his NSW District Court sentence hearing on Thursday, Morrison said he knew the parents’ pain were worse than his and they ‘probably couldn’t give a rat’s’ about his remorse.

But he said he was more than sorry for becoming the kind of man he had always despised.

‘I’m a branded man for doing the worst thing you can do to a family,’ Morrison said.

‘It has changed me beyond belief. Yes, I am despicable.’

He told the court he couldn’t remember the crash but still carried physical and mental scars, including a partially fused spine, debilitating back spasms and the loss of the joys in his life.

‘I don’t remember nothing. I’ve woken up to a nightmare I have caused,’ he said.

‘I’m not in a good place.

If there’s something that needs doing, it just doesn’t seem important any more.’

Truck driver who caused the deaths of two schoolboys near Dubbo sentenced

The driver told the court he couldn’t remember the crash but still carried physical and mental scars.

Pictured: The family car

Truck driver who caused the deaths of two schoolboys near Dubbo sentenced

Giving evidence at his NSW District Court sentence hearing on Thursday, Morrison said he knew the parents’ pain were worse than his.

Pictured: The children who lost their lives

He said his first attempt to return to his 35-year trucking career in 2018 ended at the depot gates because he ‘couldn’t handle it’.

He left the company soon after.

He said he was now the full-time carer of his wife of 25 years, who was recently diagnosed with cancer and could no longer shower alone or work.

Morrison told the boys’ family seated in court: ‘I just want to let you know I won’t go along for the rest of my life a free and happy man because I’m not the same man any more.’

Judge Warwick Hunt said he hadn’t seen such ‘pungent’ remorse in the witness box.

‘You’d have to be a deaf mute to not understand this is a very difficult sentencing exercise,’ he said.

The sentence hearing continues. 

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