Devastated truckie in court over crash that killed teacher
A POLICE expert has said the small trace of marijuana in the truck driver's saliva who struck and killed a Brisbane schoolteacher likely had no affect on his driving ability.
Tweed Heads Local Court heard Kael Luke Faulkner, 37, was devastated after Anthony Stott moved into the path of his prime mover on the Pacific Hwy about 1km north of the Cudgera Creek exit on February 10 this year.
Mr Stott was seen by witnesses jumping a road barrier fence and entering the M1 where he was struck by the passing truck.
Court documents reveal Faulkner, who drove along the route daily from Ballina to Brisbane, was travelling at the speed limit of 100km/h and was unable to stop, slow down or swerve away from hitting Stott.
Faulkner entered a state of shock and could see the deceased on the side of the road from the 200m down the road it had taken for the truck to stop.
Urine samples taken later that day revealed small amounts of marijuana in his system that Faulkner's lawyer Ian McKay told the court he had smoked on the Saturday night prior.
The Alstonville man pleaded guilty to drug driving on Monday.
"He was told by police there was nothing he could have done differently even if he wanted," Mr McKay said.
The court heard Faulkner was deeply affected by the accident, suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and had only been able to return to normal duties in July.
He had also completed a traffic offenders program since the incident.
In her report, Dr Judith Perl, a senior pharmacologist of NSW Police Force Impaired Driving Research Unit said it was her opinion it was not likely the low concentration of what was found in Faulkner's blood had any impairment on his driving ability.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy accepted the marijuana in Faulkner's system did not contribute to the crash.
"(This) is accepted by both parties as well as stated in a report from well-regarded scientist who confirms it is the case," Mr Dunlevy said.
"After initial period of great shock and remorse on your part, you are rebuilding your life."
Faulkner received a two year Conditional Release Order and no conviction was recorded.