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Jailed pastoralist’s family makes emotional plea after losing court battle

Article image for Jailed pastoralist’s family makes emotional plea after losing court battle

The family of a Pilbara Pastoralist who was jailed over a fatal truck crash are calling for an official enquiry into the management of road conditions and signage after loosing a Supreme Court appeal.

Kimberley De Pledge’s loaded cattle truck clipped the back of Mark and Lara Dawson’s caravan in 2017, causing it to roll into oncoming traffic.

The Tom Price couple were killed in the crash, but their two teenage children survived.

De Pledge was convicted of two counts of dangerous driving causing death in October 2019, and was sentenced to four years in prison.

The family lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court in November last year, arguing that the accident had been partially caused by “insufficiently signed roadworks”.

De Pledge’s sister Polly Edmunds told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett “there was no alcohol, drugs, telephone or speed involved in the accident”.

“The signage was poor and it wasn’t, by Main Roads own admission, adequate for the condition of the bridge at the time.”

His family are now calling for an inquiry into the crash to ensure proper signage is used on roadworks across the state.

“We are not looking for heads to roll, we just want this to never happen again.”

Ms Edmunds said signage is “vital to keep people alive” and should be installed to correct Australian standards.

In a statement Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said “we have established an independent inquiry into regional road signage”.

“A reference group of key stakeholders and industry representatives has been established and will examine the guidelines and process of installing temporary traffic signage installed in regional areas,” Minister Saffioti said.

“In the meantime guidelines around securing regional road signage have been tightened.”

But Risk Management Advisor, Steve Post, argued that the inquiry doesn’t go far enough.

“What we are really after is an inquiry into the conduct of all of those involved.”

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: Facebook) 

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