Sleep-deprived truckie killed mate in horror crash
"I AM afraid he is going to fall asleep."
Just one hour after sending this text message to his girlfriend, 25-year-old Proserpine man Brendan Ryan Johnsen was critically injured in a preventable truck crash in central Queensland.
Highway near Gin Gin, Mr Johnsen died before emergency services personnel could extract him from the truck.
Next to him was his good mate and driver of the vehicle, Edward Andrew Faust.
Faust had not slept for 25 hours and was affected by drugs when he lost control of, and rolled, the vehicle, which was loaded with flooring materials.
The September 26, 2017 crash left Faust with a leg injury that led to an amputation as well as other ongoing medical issues.
Today Faust was told he would spend six months in jail after pleading guilty in Brisbane District Court to one charge of dangerous driving causing death and one drug-related offence.
Judge Julie Dick sentenced Faust to two and a half years in jail, ordering the term be suspended for three years when he is released in September.
Judge Dick also disqualified the former Warwick and Toowoomba truckie from driving for 18 months.
She noted Mr Johnsen sent a number of text messages to his Brisbane-based girlfriend and to his sister in the hours before he died.
He told both he had concerns for his safety and he was worried 30-year-old Faust was exhausted and likely to crash.
Faust had been awake for more than a day after travelling from north Queensland to Brisbane to collect the load and then turning around to deliver it.
Judge Dick said Faust's driving record showed repeated failures to take proper rest breaks and to keep a diary of his trips, a requirement under Queensland law.
She said he knew he was aware of the road rules but the father-of-two failed to comply with them.
"You drove for 25 hours without a rest," Judge Dick said.
"I cannot say that the deceased told you, you shouldn't be driving but he told his partner he was worried about your fatigue.
"Mr Johnsen was observing something that made him worried and therefore you should have been worried."
Faust's defence barrister Michael Copley told the court his client was very sorry for killing Mr Johnsen and the fact that his leg was amputated meant he lived with a 24-hour reminder of the accident.