The truck driver allegedly concerned within the deaths of two individuals, one a baby, following a collision close to Kingston in December has been launched from custody. Michael Brent Knowler, 59, utilized for bail on the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court docket on Friday. Recognized to mates as Brent, Knowler is charged with two counts of harmful driving inflicting demise, one rely of harmful driving inflicting critical damage, and one rely every of failing to provide manner and inflicting a collision that positioned an individual in peril of demise and critical damage. Police prosecutor Senior Constable Clint Prebble instructed the court docket police opposed bail as a result of they’d issues Knowler would flee Victoria. Police informant Detective Appearing Sergeant Cameron Meritt of the Main Collisions Investigation Unit stated Knowler was driving a Kenworth prime mover on Church Parade in the direction of his pal’s house in Broomfield on December 29 2019. The court docket heard Knowler was utilizing a GPS on his cellphone to help with instructions. He instructed police he checked his cell phone earlier than the intersection and it instructed him to proceed straight. A Toyota Rav4 entered the intersection and police allege Knowler failed to provide manner, hitting the Rav4 and inflicting it to flip. The court docket heard the drive tore the bull bar from the prime mover and it stopped about 60 metres west of the intersection after Knowler gained management of the car. Detective Appearing Sergeant Merritt stated the motive force of the automotive, Anthony West, was transported to hospital with minor accidents. Jess West, 37, was seated within the passenger seat and their five-year-old son Deighton was within the rear passenger aspect seat. Each died on the scene. The court docket heard their nine-year-old son Oakley, who was seated within the rear drivers aspect seat, returned house from the Royal Kids’s Hospital this week. He was transported from the scene by air ambulance with facial accidents. A canine within the automotive additionally died on the scene. Detective Appearing Sergeant Merritt stated he instructed police he had seen the yellow and black signal indicating the upcoming intersection 240 metres earlier than. The court docket heard Knowler instructed police he had seen the white line on the highway on the intersection indicating he should give manner, however didn’t see the give manner signal. Knowler instructed police he was not ‘consciously wanting’ for it, as he had seen the white line. Detective Appearing Sergeant Merritt stated Knowler instructed police he had slowed down on the intersection, regarded left and noticed no visitors, however he couldn’t see to the appropriate as timber obscured his view. The court docket heard Knowler had solely seen the Rav4 when he had entered the intersection. Detective Appearing Sergeant Merritt stated Knowler lived in Western Australia along with his step-son the place he was employed as a truck driver. The court docket heard Knowler was from New Zealand and had been dwelling in Australia on a visa since 2008 and his companion lived in Thailand. Detective Appearing Sergeant Merritt stated police had issues that Knowler would flee Australia if granted bail, given he was born in New Zealand and had ties to Thailand. “He instructed police he had anticipated taking over residence in Thailand in early 2020 on the time,” he stated. Defence barrister Chris Pearson questioned Detective Appearing Sergeant Merritt on the small print of the accident website, stating an intention to check the power of the prosecution case. The court docket heard the truck Knowler was driving was 30-years-old, with no trailer hooked up and had giant mirrors on both aspect. “What I counsel is his imaginative and prescient of the intersection would have been obscured by the massive mirrors of the truck, do you agree?” Mr Pearson stated. “I might argue he could be properly used to driving the truck and he ought to get himself into the place understanding the car the place he can see,” Detective Appearing Sergeant Merritt stated in response. Mr Pearson instructed the court docket Knowler had secure and supervised lodging out there in Victoria with an ex-police officer if he was to be launched on bail. A defence witness, who was the pal Knowler was travelling to see on the day of the accident, testified Knowler may dwell at his house in Broomfield whereas on bail. “The entire time I’ve identified Brent (Knowler is thought to mates as Brent) he has been a really straight, hard-working and entertaining particular person to be with,” the witness stated. “He’s trustworthy and reliable and somebody who does one of the best he can.” Knowler wore a black sweater on prime of a shirt when he appeared within the dock at court docket and regarded down, whereas slumped over at occasions, all through the bail utility proceedings. Justice of the Peace Ron Saines stated it appeared the prosecution had an unassailable case that Knowler’s driving brought about the demise of two individuals and damage to others. He stated the prosecution had a powerful case the driving was harmful, however this was not unassailable. “There’s a prospect of a jury discovering a scarcity of dangerousness and as an alternative a carelessness in his driving and he could keep away from imprisonment. Though this might not be a probability, it’s a risk the court docket should take into account,” Ms Saines stated. “In having regard to the absence of prior historical past, his good character and what seems to be a collision involving quick time period error slightly than long run keen criminality, this additional has prospect of lowering the extent of imprisonment to be imposed.” Mr Saines stated he discovered compelling causes had been proven to grant Knowler bail, given the secure residence with supervision and the potential of a non-custodial sentence. He stated he was glad the chance of flight may very well be diminished to a suitable degree with circumstances he forfeit any passport and never go away Victoria. Knowler was granted bail and can return to the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court docket on April 30. Have you ever signed as much as The Courier’s number of information emails? You’ll be able to register beneath and ensure you are updated with the whole lot that is occurring in Ballarat.