NHVR in Eastern Freeway chain of responsibility prosecution

An 18-month Taskforce Paragon investigation yields fresh charges

NHVR in Eastern Freeway chain of responsibility prosecution
A company truck similar to the one involved in the fatal crash

Four parties linked to Melbourne’s fatal Eastern Freeway truck crash last year are facing National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) chain of responsibility (COR) prosecution.

Charges were filed at Paramatta Local Court following an 18-month investigation by Victoria Police detectives, the NHVR nsaidd.

Taskforce Paragon was established to investigate the incident in which a heavy vehicle hit and killed four Victoria Police officers while they were conducting a roadside intercept on April 22, 2020.

The company, owner/managing director, national operations manager, and state manager have each been charged with Category 1 and 2 offences under the COR provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

These are the most serious offences available under the HVNL.

Connect Logistics was the company that employed driver Mohinder Singh, who was jailed for at least 18 years and six months over the deaths.

The company was subsequently raided and his supervisor at the time, Simiona Tuteru, faced manslaughter charges in relation to the incident.

How the company was raided after the crash, here

The identities of the parties facing the COR charges have not yet been disclosed.

NHVR director of prosecutions Belinda Hughes said the charges were laid after multiple and critical breaches of the HVNL were identified.

"These charges stem from an extensive interstate investigation by Victoria Police into the actions of the transport operator, its executive and its employees," Hughes said.

"This tragedy is a sobering reminder of the consequences that can occur when there is a failure to ensure safe transport activities."

Category 1 offences carry a maximum penalty of $300,000 and/or five years imprisonment for an individual and $3,000,000 for a corporation.

Category 2 offences carry a maximum penalty of $150,000 for an individual and $1,500,000 for a corporation.

The matter will next be heard on September 28, 2021 at Paramatta Local Court.

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