A truck driver who ran an oncoming unmarked police car off the road while overtaking a slower truck has been sentenced in Orange Local Court.
Jojo Ittiyra Perappaden, 48, of Mt Druitt, initially pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving on the Mitchell Highway but was found guilty by magistrate David Day at a hearing on September 25 this year.
A statement presented at the hearing said two police officers were driving to Bathurst for an investigation on September 21, 2017, and had just passed the Bee Keepers Inn when they saw a “pantech style truck” being followed by a Kenworth semi-trailer driving towards them.
Police said there was one lane going each way and the semi-trailer crossed the broken line to overtake the smaller slower truck despite the oncoming car.
Applying the service brake and slipping back is the correct thing to do, not forcing oncoming vehicles off the road.Magistrate David Day
Police said the truck approached rapidly on the wrong side of the road so the driver of the police car braked and flashed the high-beams at the truck but Perappaden continued trying to overtake.
Police were forced to “brake harshly and swerve off the road” as the semi-trailer started to merge back into the westbound lane. However, the load was still occupying the eastbound lane.
“Applying the service brake and slipping back is the correct thing to do, not forcing oncoming vehicles off the road,” Mr Day said when Perappaden appeared before him for sentencing for the offence on Monday.
MAP: Where the truck ran an unmarked police car off the road ...
“It was one of those complete brain snaps,” Mr Day said.
“Other than a fatigue driving matter he’s got a nil driving record really.”
On Monday, Mr Day sentenced Perappaden to a 12-month community correction order with 50 hours of community service and his driver’s licence was disqualified for 12 months.
Mr Day said he would give Perappaden the minimum penalty because as a professional truck driver, ”it’s going to hit him a lot harder than some tearaway 19-year-old”.
“There’s some community service work because this deserves more than a slap on the wrist because of the risk to the community,” Mr Day said.
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