Negligent trucking boss jailed for death of truck driver

Photography by: Nils Versemann /

Peter Francis Colbert given lengthy jail term for causing the death of Robert Brimson.


The owner of a trucking company who caused the death of his driver by refusing to repair a faulty rig has been jailed for 12 years.

The Supreme Court of South Australia sentenced Peter Francis Colbert to a lengthy prison sentence with a non-parole period of 10 years, after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter in relation to the death of Robert Brimson in 2014.

The owner of Colbert Transport failed to repair faulty brakes on the truck Brimson was driving, despite repeated warnings to do so. The brakes failed and caused Brimson to crash into a pole, killing him.

In sentencing Colbert, Supreme Court justice David Peek labelled him a risk-taker and narcissist who had misplaced arrogance, ABC News reports.

Colbert told a psychologist he would still be alive if he was in Brimson’s position when the truck’s brakes failed.

As ABC News reports, Colbert told the psychologist: "I can bet you though that 10 to one that I’d still be sitting here talking to you if I did drive the truck that day."

"I don’t expect people to do what I can do with a truck. The truth is most of the blokes I deal with have no skill."

Colbert denied being warned repeatedly about fixing the brakes, prompting Peek to label him a liar.

"Your response to trial was to lie on oath," Nine News quotes Peek as saying.

Peek says a lengthy jail term is needed to deter other trucking companies from committing similar offences.

ABC News says a dashboard camera captured the final moments of Brimson’s life. Peek read out Brimson’s words during sentencing.

"Oh [expletive] brakes," Brimson is recorded as saying.

"Where am I gonna [expletive] go?

"I’ve got nowhere to [expletive] go."

Along with a long stint in jail, Colbert has been banned indefinitely from driving.

Outside court, Brimson’s widow told the media she was happy with the jail sentence.

She called her late husband a "hero" for diverting the faulty truck away from others and sacrificing his life in the process.

"Mr Brimson was only able to avoid passenger vehicles by taking a course that led to his death," Peek says.

"He elected to take that opportunity."

The case represents the first time an owner of a company has been held liable for the death of an employee because of workplace negligence.


Robert Brimson died because the owner of Colbert Transport ignored calls to repair faulty truck brakes.

Posted by Owner Driver on Sunday, 23 August 2015


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