Picton Road crash: Victim's family speak out after truck company found guilty

Devastating: Two truck drivers died in a horrific head-on collision along Picton Road in March 2017. Picture: Glenn Miller
Devastating: Two truck drivers died in a horrific head-on collision along Picton Road in March 2017. Picture: Glenn Miller

The family of a man who was killed in a fiery crash on Picton Road in 2017 have spoken about their bittersweet relief after a truck company owner was found guilty in court.

Sharon Heyburgh and Mark Gorman, siblings of late Oakdale truck driver Michael Gorman, sat in Sydney Central Local Court to hear A Fife and Co's director Peter Fife would have to pay $88,000 plus $30,000 in legal costs.

The company's director was charged with 24 offences and the company was charged with another 24 offences relating to driver fatigue and breaches in the chain of responsibility for its duty of care.

Roads and Maritime Services investigated and charged the Albion Park Rail-based company following a double-fatal crash.

On March 24, 2017, A Fife and Co driver Adrian Ryan veered a B-Double onto the wrong side of the road just north of the intersection with MacArthur Drive near Wilton about 5am.

Michael Gorman was driving a car carrier in the opposite direction when the trucks collided. His body was found in the burnt-out cabin of his truck once firefighters had extinguished the blaze. Mr Ryan also died at the scene.

Michael Gorman was killed when he was involved in a head-on crash on Picton Road.

Michael Gorman was killed when he was involved in a head-on crash on Picton Road.

Ms Heyburgh and Mr Gorman attended the court for two days of the hearing in March, the guilty verdict on May 3 and sentencing on Wednesday.

She wished Mr Fife received a harsher penalty.

Mr Gorman said it was a relief the legal process had finished.

"The dollar figure for the fine does not matter because it is never going to bring our brother back," he said.

"We are just glad there was a guilty verdict.

"This was a totally avoidable accident and it should never of happened.

"It has been more than two years since the crash. The case has dragged on."

Parents Neil and Beverley Gorman and siblings Mark Gorman and Sharon Heyburgh of Michael Gorman, a truck driver who died in a crash, sat in court to hear a trucking company found guilty and fined. Picture: Adam McLean

Parents Neil and Beverley Gorman and siblings Mark Gorman and Sharon Heyburgh of Michael Gorman, a truck driver who died in a crash, sat in court to hear a trucking company found guilty and fined. Picture: Adam McLean

The family hope the verdict and penalties serve as a warning to other truck companies to ensure their drivers comply with fatigue regulations.

"Truck drivers know the rules so there is no reason why they should be driving for longer than allowed," Mr Gorman said.

Roads and Maritime Services compliance director Roger Weeks said he could not comment on the outcome of the court case because the matter was before the courts and within an appeal period.

"Roads and Maritime will continue to actively investigate and pursue chain of responsibility laws across the heavy vehicle industry to improve safety for all road users," he said.

The family are still calling for concrete barriers dividing the two lanes to be installed along the stretch of Picton Road, especially at the site of the accident.