Charges dropped against Adelaide truck driver accused of causing double fatality
Darren Hicks (left) leaving court today with his lawyer Mark Twiggs. (ABC News: Rebecca Opie)
Charges have been dropped against a truck driver who was accused of driving dangerously before a horror crash at the start of Adelaide’s South Eastern Freeway four years ago.
- Two people were killed following a truck crash on the South Eastern Freeway in 2014
- Darren Hicks was due to stand trial today, accused of dangerous driving
- The prosecutor has told the court they would not continue the case
Darren Michael Hicks, 33, was charged with causing death and serious harm by dangerous driving over the crash which killed Thomas Spiess, 57, and Jacqueline Byrne, 41, in August 2014.
Mr Spiess and Ms Byrne died after the sewage tanker Mr Hicks was driving ploughed into three cars at the start of the freeway at Urrbrae, south of Adelaide.
Mr Hicks was also badly injured in the crash.
He was due to stand trial on the charges but today prosecutor Chris Edge told Adelaide’s District Court they were not continuing with the case and the trial date could be vacated.
Outside court Mr Hicks’ lawyer Mark Twiggs said his client would not be speaking publicly.
“He is relieved that the matter is finally finished, this was a shocking accident that should not have occurred,” Mr Twiggs said.
Rubble at the base of the South Eastern Freeway following the fatal truck incident in 2014. (ABC News: Spence Denny)
“Nothing will replace the lives lost or the persons who suffered serious injury.”
Mr Twiggs said Mr Hicks had always maintained his innocence and today’s decision had “confirmed his belief”.
He said his client would not be answering questions as he had “several matters” where he would be required to give evidence.
Thomas Spiess’ wife Jan has repeatedly attended court hearings in support of Mr Hicks.
Mr Twiggs said that it was very rare to see such support from a victim’s family.
“I have got full admiration for her, she is a wonderful person,” he said.
Federal safety regulator Comcare has launched legal proceedings against the owner of the truck Cleanaway Operations.
Cleanaway is expected to face trial on seven counts of failing to comply with health and safety duties in the Adelaide Magistrates Court next year.