Long wait for justice after double crash

double crash investigations justice

A year after two motorcycle riders were taken out by a driver who crossed two stationary lanes of traffic, the riders have not seen justice as the driver is yet to face court.

Riders Steve Caruana and Marc Logan spent several months in hospital and are still undergoing rehabilitation, yet to return to full-time work.

In July 2016, a woman in a Camry drove in front of their motorcycles at Maribyrnong, Melbourne, and the subsequent dash cam video of the crash went viral.

While the video evidence seems compelling, police have taken almost a year to investigate.

Steve now tells us he believes charges have been laid but the wait for justice continues several more months.

“A cop came to my house around a month ago and mentioned to me that they are pressing charges and she will be going to court around November,” Steve says.

We contacted Victoria Police who confirmed a “female driver has been charged (we do not provide names) and will appear at court in November, but cannot confirm the court date at this stage”.

She faces charges of careless driving (three demerit points and up to $1771.32 for a first offence and $3690.25 for subsequent offences) and fail to give way ($159 fine).

Mental and physical scars

Steve says it has been a long wait for justice as he continues find it difficult to come to terms with the physical and mental scars from the crash.

“I started work about two months ago but only lasted a month,” he says.

“I’m nowhere near ready but losing my mind at home and have had to borrow money so as not to lose the house. “

He says Transport Accident Commission (TAC) payments are not enough to support his family, s he is planning to return to work soon.

“This accident has really turned my family and me upside down and hoping my life gets back to how it was before the accident because the biggest killer is not being able to enjoy activities with my children,” he says.

Steve did buy a new motorbike but even though he still rides every day, he says the accident has taken the enjoyment out of riding.

“I’m staying positive and hoping that in two months I’ll be back at work and won’t be struggling to get through a day’s work,” he says.

Double crash Steve and Mark justice
Mark and Steve

Meanwhile, Marc is still going to rehab and has at least six more months before thinking about getting back to work.

Steve says he doesn’t talk to Marc as much as he used to.

“We’re both dealing with issues and don’t like to socialise like we used to because one minute I’m feeling good, next minute I could need to lie down or stop whatever I’m doing,” Steve says.

“We are still best of friends but just hard at the moment for both of us.”

Steve says he is still waiting for justice and says he expects police to contact him later this year for the court case when he will relive those fateful seconds yet again.

5 Comments

  1. I was hit by a driver when I was crossing an intersection in Marrickville during a power outage that saw those lights out. I left a friends house, drove my bike 4 metres, I stopped at the line, looked and didnt see anything coming, rode into the intersection and a woman in a Mazda hit me from the left at great speed. Then she drove off round a corner and came back 5 minutes later on foot. Leaving me in the middle of the intersection bleeding to be hit by other cars. So she was likely speeding, left the scene, failed to stop and render assistance and drove negligently.

    Police haven’t pressed charges, her insurance are saying it’s my fault. I couldn’t afford more than CTP at the time. 3 years on, still can’t sleep on my left shoulder, lost my job, marriage broke up, have panic attacks almost daily, and in constant pain.

    Moral of this story is, if you are on a bike, you will be told it is your fault.

    Any lawyers want to help out, I am all ears.

  2. Any reason that this wasn’t sorted in a fortnight? It’s not as if VPol needed to look for evidence or identify the driver. If they can prosecute a speeding offence in that time, why not this? These blokes deserve better.

  3. What is justice? The ruin of another persons life? The financial or personal ruin of the one that made a terrible/stupid/idiotic mistake on that day and now ‘they have to pay’? Simply expecting that this justice or retribution will help you in some way is mistaken. The laws are not quick enough to process this in a reasonable time and when completed it will not be valuable to your recovery.
    Before this happens to you (and as a rider it also happened to me), have your insurance organised and if your in a relationship also have your will organised.
    If it has happened to you then go to a good lawyer and begin proceedings against the TAC. This will cost some money for the lawyer to obtain your medical records and other information, no win = no fee but a having couple of thousand dollars and being open to them scouring your medical history is key. This might take two or three years to work through and get some sort of outcome. This is the reality and the facts, another fact is that I am not a lawyer, I am just referring my experience.
    Expecting this justice for the driver that caused the accident or having animosity toward them is pointless, let the police handle it and follow that up as evidence permits, it is unfortunately no longer your concern. I was told the driver that got me was going to be charged for reckless driving, probably was and as he had a child on the way I am sure would have made his life difficult during this period too. I could have ‘had my day in court’ but what for when eventually the TAC did make a reasonable offer because of the steps I took to obtain it.

    1. Im not sure how it works in Australia, but I dont think it should be that different from America and Europe. Whoever is responsable for the accident, him or his insurance has to pay all the expenses, medical bills, motorcycle, time lost, etc. Justice is not about revenge or making someone else suffer, and the point is pretty clear in the article, this guys are having a bad time with money and their losses, they need whoever was responsable to cover all that, that is justice.

      1. American and European legal systems are vastly different as is Australia. Most countries in Europe have a presumed liability system for a start so that helps vulnerable road users get compensation and better outcomes very early. America has a system where there is no shared liability, ie it is a binary outcome for compensation. Australia like England has a legal system of shared liability where you can be held partially responsible even if you win and often can bear the costs of the legal stoush even if you do win.

        The stuff I’m reading in the article and the comments is not much different to the outcomes I experienced with some caveats.

        The cycling spinal injury was a work journey claim, so workers compensation provided an income and better my employer paid me 100% for 3 months to help me out. Still took 2 years to get a CTP claim against the driver through and police were uninterested in assisting. I even had video of the woman hitting me deliberately.

        My motorcycle accident, I was laid off only because the business was being sold and I was happy to lose the job as it took pressure of me to return to work earlier than I should. The key factor was insurance, income protection, mortgage insurance, bike insurance, and good advice. I took 12 months off full time and then went to work part time for 12 months without worry. Now back full time 4.5 years after the accident, will never be 100% but I am alive and I didn’t lose my marriage, my house or my family.

        I cannot stress enough the importance of good insurance. Basically “if you cannot insure it, you cannot afford it” is my view. Unless of course you are happy to gamble everything and not complain when you lose it all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *