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George Kyriakidis: Truck driver found guilty of dangerous driving which killed Joseph ‘Jason’ Nguyen

The Advertiser 2020-08-20 08:03:00

An experienced truck driver who ran over a schoolboy on a busy street in Sydney’s south west has been found guilty of dangerous driving occasioning death following an emotional District Court trial.

George Kyriakidis was behind the wheel of the white Volvo tipper truck that crushed Joseph ‘Jason’ Nguyen near the corner of Chapel Rd South and Edward St in Bankstown two years ago.

The father-of-three had pleaded not guilty to the charge and argued he had been paying attention at all times when he drove across a painted median strip and onto the wrong side of the road, crushing the boy in the process.

CCTV footage of the incident showed Jason wait on the side of the road before running out in front of the vehicle at the fateful moment Kyriakidis decided to perform the manoeuvre he admitted was illegal.

The teen, 16, had just hopped off a bus from Moorebank High School about 5pm on August 31, 2018, and, when presented with a gap in traffic, chose that fateful moment to attempt to scurry across to the median strip.

The horrific footage shows the teen reach the painted divider before being knocked off his feet as the white truck collides with him, sending his crashing to the road.

The truck then drives forward over the boy, inflicting the injuries that claimed his life soon after at Liverpool Hospital.

He was just 200m from home.

Following a technical seven-day trial and a day of deliberation, a jury of eight men and three women returned a verdict of guilty.

Judge John Pickering thanked the jury and noted the “stresses” it had been under as it pondered over the “unfortunately serious consequences” he said that came from an act “no one intended to do”.

“It’s obvious you’ve been passionate about the job you’ve done,” he said.

After the verdict Kyriakidis looked to his supporters in the gallery with an expression of acceptance on his face, while a man broke down in tears.

Judge Pickering remarked the 45-year-old had been “highly anxious” during the trial, and in setting a sentence date predicted his anxieties must be “drastically higher now”.

During the trial Kyriakidis, of Panania, admitted the right-hand manoeuvre which led to Jason’s death was illegal but argued he had not been driving dangerously.

In opening his barrister Brett Longville told the court the incident involved a “real tragedy” but came after his client slowly moved his truck to turn into Edward St, with no reasonable opportunity to see a person on the road due to the shape of his vehicle.

“It might sound cold, it might sound clinical, but sympathy does not play a role in this case,” he said.

“It’s his case he would have no reasonable expectation a person would run out onto the road.”

Judge Pickering ruled Kyriakidis’ bail was to continue before his sentencing on November 6.

Originally published as Truckie guilty of teen’s horrific death