Friday, February 1, 2008

Death trailer fine

Death trailer fine

By Rebecca Fraser

13th October 2006 10:38:25 AM

1. The collision occurred along Bel¬grave Hallam Road in Narre Warren East.
THE family of a Noble Park man killed in a tragic freak accident has called on drivers to take greater care when towing trailers.

Father of one Damien Jennings, 31, died in July last year when a trailer being towed by another car along Belgrave Hallam Road in Narre Warren East came loose, hitting his car and forcing it off the road into trees.

A driver of another south-bound car also suffered minor injuries.

Last Tuesday, 3 October, Craig Ashley Williams of Narre Warren pleaded guilty in the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court to a charge of towing a vehicle not securely coupled to his car.

He was fined $1048 plus $37.80 in court costs.

Mr Jennings’s mother, Coral Jennings, this week said she understood that her son’s death had been an accident and she did not blame the driver.

However, she said the $1048 fine was not much to pay for a loss of life.

The Jennings family has now called for a coronial inquest to be held into her son’s death in the hope that trailer safety can be improved.

“We hope there is one (an inquest) so that something is done about trailer safety.

“We want to campaign so his death is not in vain. People need to be more aware and responsible on the roads with trailers.

“It’s not a case of linking it up, checking that the lights work and taking off. There is much more to it,” Ms Jennings said.

Ms Jennings said her son, who had worked as a mechanic, was sorely missed by his family and described him as a fun loving, free spirit who loved life and was a lovely person.

Mr Jennings’s sister, Jane Jennings, said she was also unsatisfied with the sentence and hoped her family’s loss would bring about change.

The Keysborough resident said laws and regulations needed to be introduced to promote more responsible and safe trailer use.

She also expressed disappointment with the fine.

“It is pretty poor when you consider the outcome of the accident. No amount of money can bring him back but that amount of money is pretty pitiful,” Ms Jennings said.

Ms Jennings said the family was still coming to grips with their loss.

Her brother was to be her daughter’s godfather but died before the naming day. Ms Jennings now tells her daughter that he is instead her guardian angel.

“It’s been hard. He was a father, brother, a godfather. It is heartbreaking. He died in his prime,” Ms Jennings said.

Ms Jennings said she hoped her brother’s death would create a greater awareness of trailer safety and encourage trailer owners to take more care and seek assistance if they were unsure about whether their trailer or load was secure.

She said her family wanted to prevent this from happening to someone else and their family.