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Ronald Trevor Gallaty jailed for fatal Qld crash

Family members of a loved Queensland bus driver killed in a fatal crash caused by a truckie have revealed their emotional fallout during the truck driver’s sentencing. Truck driver Ronald Trevor Gallaty will spend a year behind bars for the fatal crash south of Brisbane that claimed the life of bus driver Peter Bohlsen in…

Family members of a loved Queensland bus driver killed in a fatal crash caused by a truckie have revealed their emotional fallout during the truck driver’s sentencing.

Truck driver Ronald Trevor Gallaty will spend a year behind bars for the fatal crash south of Brisbane that claimed the life of bus driver Peter Bohlsen in November 2016.

The 67-year-old showed little emotion as the victim impact statements from Mr Bohlsen’s family were read to Brisbane District Court on Thursday.

Sara Taylor, Mr Bohlsen’s daughter, held back tears as she took the witness stand, revealing how the incident shattered her belief that “everything would be okay”.

“Dad had been degloved down one side and had oozed so much blood that they (the hospital) had used up the entire stock of one type of plasma product,” she told the court on Thursday.

“I try to put myself in the shoes of the driver … at least his family will get to hug him, see him at Christmases and birthdays, introduce their beautiful grandkids to their grandfather, something I will never get to do.”

Gallaty was found guilty of dangerous driving causing death after a trial in September.

The court was told Gallaty was driving his truck on a dangerous bend along Waterford Tamborine Rd in Yarrabilba on November 17, 2016.

The bend has an 80kmh speed limit with a recommended approaching speed of about 40kmh.

Gallaty approached the bend too quickly, causing a tipping trailer on his truck to veer onto the side of the road.

It collided with a bus being driven by Mr Bohlsen, injuring two other passengers.

Mr Bohlsen suffered extensive injuries and died in hospital several days later.

Gallaty pleaded not guilty to the charge, arguing the truck’s automatic brake system caused the accident and not his speeding.

Crown prosecutor Danny Boyle said Gallaty had refused to acknowledge he had travelled too fast into the corner throughout his trial.

Mr Boyle read a statement from Mr Bohlsen’s widow, Ally, who had relocated to New Zealand as she was “unable to continue living in Australia” since the accident.

Five days before Mr Bohlsen’s death, the pair had decided to retire to the Sunshine Coast.

“It was a usual hasty kiss and loving embrace as my beloved husband left for work that morning, little did I know it would be the final conscious moments we would share,” Mr Boyle read from the statement.

“One phone call changed everything: no chance to say goodbye, the last ‘I love you’ or final embrace.

“That was almost four years ago and the pain from this tragedy is still as fresh today.

“Life has not been any easier in New Zealand, but at least I do not have to look at Logan buses on the roads – a visual reminder of the day my life changed forever.”

The court was told Gallaty had racked up a number of speeding offences over a lengthy driving history.

Judge Ken Barlow sentenced Gallaty to three years’ jail, saying his deliberate driving at speed was the cause of the fatal accident.

He accepted Gallaty was remorseful over the crash but noted he refused to take personal responsibility for his driving.

“No sentence will bring back Mr Bohlsen,” Judge Barlow said.

“Until this moment, you led your life as a good, supportive citizen however when it comes to your driving I’m not sure I could call you that.

“You had a cavalier attitude to operating your vehicles safely … that attitude led to this collision and the terrible consequences that followed.

“You appear to have no insight to the fact that it was your decision to drive at speed.”

Judge Barlow ordered Gallaty’s sentence be suspended for three years after he had served 12 months behind bars. He was disqualified from driving for three years.

During the sentencing, Gallaty’s defence lawyer Alastair McDougall asked for leniency due to Gallaty’s age and his health conditions.

He said the accident had a devastating impact on Gallaty’s family as well, who now suffered from an adjustment disorder as a result of the crash.

Outside court, Mr Bohlsen’s family urged drivers to take care on the roads.

“It wasn’t just our families that were affected, it was his (Gallaty’s),” Mr Bohlsen’s daughter Lisa Sharp told reporters.

“My prayer is that people would take it seriously when we get behind the vehicle.”

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