Truckie jailed for dangerous police pursuit
A QUEENSLAND truck driver has been sentenced for leading police on a wild 70km pursuit from Glenugie to Mororo that saw a B-double truck crash into police vehicles and swerve across the Pacific Highway.
Nerang man Adam Christopher Lyall, 49, faced Grafton District Court last week where he was sentenced over police pursuit (not stop) driving dangerously, driving recklessly in a dangerous manner, driving under the influence of alcohol and not recording information as prescribed by national regulations.
According to the agreed facts, at around 8pm on Saturday February 16 last year numerous triple-0 calls were received regarding a B-double combination truck travelling north on Pacific Highway between Kempsey and Coffs Harbour, which was driving in an erratic manner without headlights or tail lights.
The court heard that over a number of kilometres, Lyall drove the truck in such a manner that vehicles were forced from the roadway, and the truck also drove over a number of guide posts and before swerving into its lane.
In court the dashcam footage captured by a witness was played.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Command officers responded to the triple-0 calls and first spotted the truck at 8.55pm still driving north on the Pacific Highway at Glenugie.
Court documents state that police followed the offender's truck and activated all warning devices in an attempt to pull the truck over but Lyall declined and a pursuit began.
The court heard the truck continued north without lights on and on multiple occasions crossed double lines, travelling at 75-90km/h in 80-100km/h zones.
A second Highway Patrol vehicle tried to overtake the vehicle so officers could get ahead to set up road spikes however as the police car was overtaking Lyall swerved into the direction of the police vehicle, forcing the officers to take evasive action.
Pursuit continued with the offender driving without lights, swerving between lanes and crossing double lines.
Grafton Police were asked to stop south bound traffic on Pacific Highway to allow safe passage of the pursuit through the 60km/h speed zone of roadworks on Pacific Highway. As the truck entered this area, Lyall crashed into a caged police truck which had been parked in the southbound lane to stop traffic however the damage minimal, and no officers were inside at the time.
The court heard the pursuit continued in the same manner for some time with police setting up southbound road closures to prevent other road users being placed at risk, and a Highway Patrol vehicle in front of the truck acting as a support to escort the pursuit.
At the Mororo Bridge on the Pacific Highway the truck ground to a halt and rolled backwards towards pursuing police, who the court heard were forced to take evasive action to prevent another impact.
As the truck was rolling backwards police jumped onto the side step of the truck cabin and saw the offender was not wearing a seatbelt. Court documents state police then tried to stop the truck by pressing the brakes however the offender kicked out at them. Lyall was then forcibly removed from the vehicle where he continued to resist arrest by moving his weight side to side and swinging his arms and kicking out with his feet.
After a struggle Lyall was secured in the rear of the police caged truck and a short time later was given a roadside breath test, but was physically unable to provide one. He attempted to speak and only a slight gurgling sound could be heard.
In court last Friday Judge Jonathon Priestley acknowledged Lyall's guilty pleas and sentenced him to 17 months behind bars, backdated to June 7, 2019. Lyall was also sentenced to a 12 month community corrections order, and disqualified from driving for two years.