Hit and run accused has 'no memory of hitting cyclist'
HE SAYS he has no memory of hitting and killing a cyclist, but truck driver Geoffrey Joseph Sleba admitted he could not say for certain it was not him.
Anzac Day 2014 started as a normal day for Mr Sleba when he was carting sorghum in his freightliner from Yelarbon to Kingsthorpe.
But he must now recount his exact movements at Warwick District Court as he stands trial for the hit-and-run death of cyclist Dr Martin Pearson.
Mr Sleba testified at his trial yesterday, where he has pleaded not guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death before leaving the scene.
The 47-year-old told the jury he woke up on Anzac Day 2014 in the cab of his truck about 5am and headed to a property at Yelarbon to pick up sorghum.
Mr Sleba told the jury he drove the load to Kingsthorpe and then returned to Yelarbon.
He stopped to have a steak sandwich and soft drink, then loaded up his truck again.
On his way back to Kingsthorpe, he took the Inglewood-Millmerran Rd, the same road Dr Pearson was killed on.
Mr Sleba said he saw two cyclists on the road, which was uncommon he said, but did not remember seeing a cyclist riding alone.
Defence lawyer Jeff Hunter QC asked how he overtook the cyclists.
"I moved right over to the centre line because of my trailer, I was worried about the sway," Mr Sleba said.
After he'd passed the road, Mr Sleba said he received a call from a fellow truck driver who had been held up because there had been a crash on Inglewood- Millmerran Rd.
Mr Sleba told the jury that when he heard a cyclist had been killed, it did not occur to him he might be involved.
Earlier in the trial, the jury heard from a forensic investigator who documented damage on Mr Sleba's vehicle.
This included a horizontal scrape and two parallel gouges on the truck's bullbar on the passenger side.
An employee told the court he noticed Mr Sleba's spotlight on the passenger side was also broken a couple of days after Dr Pearson's death.
Mr Hunter asked Mr Sleba about the damage on his truck, which Mr Sleba said was sustained from other incidents.
The night before Anzac Day, Mr Sleba said he hit a kangaroo on Millmerran-Cecil Plains Rd.
The Kingsthorpe man said the horizontal scrape happened while he was driving through the Toowoomba Ranges.
"I moved over too far to the left and caught the corner of the concrete bollard," MrSleba said.
The jury heard the two gouges on the bullbar were mirrored on the driver's side and were the same height.
Mr Sleba said the marks occurred when he had driven over narrow weighbridges.
"It happened quite early when I got the truck because I remember being upset that I scratched the bullbar."
Mr Sleba said he had been driving at 90-95km/h, which crown prosecutor Sam Bain suggested he underestimated.
The jury heard the truck would have been travelling at 98km/h to arrive at the crash site at Dr Pearson's suspected time of death.
Mr Sleba denied he was driving faster than 95km/h.
The trial resumes today.