Mine worker faces fine over teenager’s death

A man who ran over a teenager at the Ballarat Gold Mine with a 40-tonne truck, had only been driving the vehicle for three days.

37-year-old Robert Strucell has pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable care of others.

He was giving 17-year-old Damien Tuddenham a lift back to his worksite after morning tea, in a 40-tonne truck.

As the teenager climbed out of the truck, he slipped on the staircase and fell to the ground.

Strucell, who had three days experience in the truck, checked his mirrors and put the truck into gear.

It rolled onto Damien Tuddenham and he died at the scene.

The Ballarat Magistrates Court heard there was no safety procedure in place for transporting employees to and from their breaks.

Strucell’s defence lawyer told the court his client had little experience driving such trucks and that Damien Tuddenham was his first passenger.

Strucel is facing a maximum fine of about $56,000.

He will be sentenced on Thursday.

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