Truck driver bailed

Truck driver charged over deaths of young couple granted bail


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Emergency service crews at the scene of the fatal crash on January 16 near Dubbo. Photo: Bradley Guest

Emergency service crews at the scene of the fatal crash on January 16 near Dubbo. Photo: Bradley Guest

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A truck driver charged over the deaths of a young couple has been granted bail.

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A truck driver charged over the deaths of a young couple in a seven-vehicle pile-up near Dubbo has been granted bail in the Supreme Court.

Robert Crockford is facing more than a dozen charges after his semi-trailer ploughed into six vehicles stopped at roadworks on the Newell Highway north of Dubbo on January 16.

Reagen Skinner and his 19-year-old girlfriend, Hannah Ferguson, were killed and 10 others including a two-year-old girl were injured in the crash.

Acting Justice Peter Hidden granted Crockford bail on Friday morning on condition he doesn't drive at all, doesn't apply for a passport, reports to police three times a week, lives with his partner in Queensland and doesn't contact any prosecution witness.

The judge said he was satisfied there was "significant new material" about Crockford's health that was not before the court when he was refused bail after his first application in March.

The judge said he was satisfied there was "significant new material" about Crockford's health that was not before the court when he was refused bail after his first application in March.

Crockford's barrister, Jack Tyler-Stott, had submitted on Thursday that the truckie's medical treatment in custody wasn't adequate enough to allow him to be in a place to be assessed for sleep apnoea "for preparation for trial".

"There is some biology that needs to be explored," Mr Tyler-Stott said.

The Crown argued the sleep disorder claim was Crockford's third attempt to explain why he failed to brake when approaching the line of traffic. The prosecutor also said sleep apnoea could be assessed in custody. 

Crockford, who still occasionally needs a wheelchair and appeared via video link with crutches behind his chair, began crying as the decision was read aloud.

He is due before Dubbo Local Court on September 19.

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