Queensland Truck Driver Granted Bail After Fatal Train Collision Near SA-NSW Border

In a tragic incident that claimed the lives of two train workers near the South Australia-New South Wales border, the Queensland truck driver responsible for the collision has been granted bail. 

Kevin Maxwell Pearson faced the Adelaide Magistrates Court via video link on Tuesday, charged over the horrific crash that occurred on New Year’s Eve.

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The collision, which took place at a level crossing on the Barrier Highway at Bindarrah Station, resulted in the deaths of Port Augusta train drivers Mick Warren, 48, and Kevin Baker, 57. 

The Pacific National locomotive, operated by the victims, was struck by Mr Pearson’s truck at approximately 10:30 am on New Year’s Eve.

The 75-year-old appeared before the Adelaide Magistrates Court via video link. 

The court heard that he had worked as a truck driver for over 50 years before the tragic incident.

He was granted bail on the condition that he resided at a caravan park in Port Pirie and reported daily to the police. 

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The court was informed that Mr Pearson has health issues, is recovering from lung cancer and is battling prostate cancer.

“He has no significant relevant history of offending,” Mr Pearson’s lawyer told the court.

“He’s a 75-year-old man who does have some health issues that he needs to attend to.

The Barrier Highway reopened late on Monday night with a 25kph speed limit in the Bindarrah area, which is expected to remain in place for the next three days.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigators are examining the crash site, including the level crossing, the train, and wagons. 

The investigation involves interviews with involved parties and witnesses and may include recovering components for lab examination.

 Mr Pearson is scheduled to appear in the Port Augusta Magistrates Court on April 17.

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