Cobram man jailed over Muckatah fatal collision

By Monique Preston

The driver of a truck that collided with a ute in Muckatah in 2018, killing ute's driver, has been jailed for one year.

Brett John Patterson, 48, was also sentenced by Shepparton County Court today to a two-year community corrections order, which includes 150 hours of unpaid work.

Patterson, from Cobram, had previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death for his part in the accident which killed 57-year-old Colin Curtis on May 25, 2018.

Patterson had been driving a Kenworth prime mover along Powerline Rd when he drove through a give way sign and the truck collided with Mr Curtis’s ute, which was travelling along Chapel Rd at 1.30 pm.

In handing down his sentence, County Court chief judge Peter Kidd noted Patterson's vehicle had been coming to a “natural slow” and no brakes had been applied while he approached the intersection.

He accepted Patterson's truck was travelling at 30 km/h when it entered the intersection and collided with Mr Curtis’s ute.

Mr Kidd said there had been a mound of dirt on the side of Chapel Rd which had partially obstructed Patterson’s view as he approached within 14 m of the intersection.

He also noted victim impact statements from Mr Curtis’s wife, daughter and son and said his death had had a “devastating effect” on the family and the impact of his death was “profound and long lasting”.

The fact that no alcohol or drugs were present in Patterson’s system and that he was not using a mobile phone or driving at unsafe speeds for a distance, were also factors Mr Kidd took into account.

Mr Kidd said Patterson’s inattention that day was more than “a blink of an eye momentary inattention” and said he made a “grave misjudgment”.

He also remarked that “while the gravity of offending and moral culpability fall somewhere in the lower range, they are not the lowest level”, and, as such, decided to combine a prison sentence with a community corrections order.

Mr Kidd also accepted that Patterson, who owns a contracting earthworks business and is also a long-distance truck driver, was remorseful for what had happened.

Patterson’s licence was also disqualified by the court for 18 months.