Father says two years for fatal truck crash means little

A Coast pensioner has been refused bail after being charged with drug trafficking.
A Coast pensioner has been refused bail after being charged with drug trafficking. Rockhampton Morning Bulletin

BRISBANE truck driver Peter Schussig was sentenced to two years in jail yesterday for a car accident that killed Gladstone man Liam James O'Reilly in 2012.

Schussig, 62, pleaded guilty to dangerously operating a vehicle resulting in death in Gladstone District Court yesterday in front of a gallery of members of both families.

The court heard that Schussig had driven his prime mover into the back of five stationary vehicles on the Bruce Highway at Mount Larcom on January 16, 2012.

The third car was 21-year-old Mr O'Reilly's, pushing him into the truck in front and causing injuries that killed him at the scene.

Crown prosecutor Samuel Bain told the court Schussig had a straight 2km stretch of road and had a "prolonged period of inattention" before the crash.

Defence barrister Michael Copley said it "was clearly not a case of momentary inattention" but told Judge Nicholas Samios that Schussig was "genuinely remorseful" for taking Mr O'Reilly's life.

Judge Samios sentenced Schussig to two years in jail because of the "devastating consequences of the offence and as a general deterrent".

He will serve six months, with 18 months suspended.

Outside court, Mr O'Reilly's father Greg O'Reilly said the outcome would not fix "the loss of life of a 21-year-old son and brother".

"He was a wonderful young man. A great kid that was very much loved," he said.

"I don't care about (Schussig's) remorse. It has affected our whole family, put pressure on my marriage and my daughter struggles with ongoing health injuries from this.

"People need to make sure they don't have any distractions and pay attention when they're driving."

Topics:  bruce highway car accident car crash crash dangerous driving mount larcom

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