Canberra crane driver ‘overrode’ alarm before it rolled, killing construction worker

The crane driver, Queenslander Michael Watts, has been charged with manslaughter and risking death or serious injury without a reasonable excuse.

At the time of the accident Mr Watts had been moving an 11-tonne generator.

Today, Prosecutor Anthony Williamson told the ACT Industrial Court he would allege Mr Watts was driving an overloaded crane.

“The alarm went off, he overrode that, the crane rolled and killed someone,” Mr Williamson said.

“It’s really very straightforward.

“There’s not that much more to it.”

The court also heard the brief of evidence was 5,000 pages long and others individuals, as well as companies Multiplex and RAR cranes, had also been charged over serious safety breaches.

Mr Watt’s lawyers argued they should be allowed to have a list of prosecution witnesses, so they could prepare their case.

But Mr Williamson successfully argued against the demand.

“This is a strictly indictable homicide matter that must be heard by a jury,” he said.

He said a witness list would not be required until the matter was in the ACT Supreme Court.

Mr Watt’s lawyers told the court he would enter a plea when the case returned to the Industrial Court on October 17, when the matter was expected to be committed to the Supreme Court.

Others in the case will be back in court on October 4.

Source abc