A truck driver who caused a crash while driving tired has been sentenced.
A truck driver who caused a crash while driving tired has been sentenced. Kirstin Payne

Tired truckie's actions put five people in hospital

A TRUCK driver who caused a multi-vehicle crash while fatigued has lost his licence.

Zvonimir Ilic had been showing signs of fatigue for 15 minutes leading up to the March incident, Casino Local Court heard on Wednesday.

The 63-year-old B-double driver's fatigue was captured on an in-cab camera which was viewed later by authorities, the court heard.

Ilic, from Labrador in Queensland, was travelling north on the Pacific Highway when his truck crossed the edge and centre dividing line a number of times, "forcing vehicles to take evasive action to avoid a collision" on the morning of March 30 this year, the court heard.

Just north of the New Italy rest area, he approached a roadworks area but did not slow down in time to avoid colliding with queued traffic.

He braked hard, skidding for 43 metres, before striking another vehicle, causing it to then crash into two others.

The truck continued for 25 metres and eventually came to rest on a shoulder of the northbound lane.

The other vehicles involved spun 180 degrees in the collision, the court heard.

Of seven occupants, five were taken to hospital.

The court heard the most serious injuries involved a number of fractures, and Magistrate David Heilpern told Ilic this came close to causing grievous bodily harm.

Ilic told the court he had never experienced a similar situation before and explained he needed his licence for his work.

But Mr Heilpern said Ilic's driving record, which had 20 entries since 2002, gave rise to concern.

He said the incident was the most serious of its kind, with the injuries injuries having "just fallen short of grievous bodily harm".

He said the conduct involved in the incident "borders on ... dangerous driving".

Mr Heilpern referred to an incident near Dubbo in which two university students were killed, allegedly by a truck driver who ploughed into queued traffic in stressing the gravity of such incidents involving heavy vehicles.

Ilic asked Mr Heilpern if a restricted work licence would be possible, but the Magistrate explained such a condition did not exist in NSW.

"There is no such thing in NSW ... and it's far too serious for that," he said.

He disqualified Ilic for six months and fined him $1000.