Wollongong council worker sentenced over street sweep crash

Wayne Hay departs Wollongong courthouse with a supporter after being sentenced over a crash involving the street sweeper he was driving. Main photo: WIN News Illawarra
Wayne Hay departs Wollongong courthouse with a supporter after being sentenced over a crash involving the street sweeper he was driving. Main photo: WIN News Illawarra

The driver of a Wollongong City Council street sweeper has been ordered to perform community service over a crash that left a cyclist with life-changing injuries. 

The rider was thrown from her bike and suffered eight broken ribs, a fractured left scapula, a fractured wrist that required the surgical insertion of stabilising metal plates, collapsed lungs, a broken back and a compound fracture to her lower left leg, also requiring metal plates. 

Her bike became caught in the side of the truck, which continued travelling 62 metres along Ajax Avenue before stopping. 

Photo: Win News Illawarra

Photo: Win News Illawarra

At the wheel was 50-year-old Wayne John Hay, of Dapto. who faced sentencing in Wollongong Local Court last week 

The truck was travelling north on Flinders Road in the moments before the crash occurred, about 5.50am on February 10 last year. 

Hay brought the truck to a halt at a designated right hand turn lane, allowing several southbound cars to pass before turning onto Ajax Avenue. 

He was mid-way through the turn when the woman’s bike collided with the middle of his truck.

The rider landed on a pedestrian crossing in the eastbound lane over Ajax Avenue. 

In a police interview six days later, Hay said he had not seen the cyclist, and was only aware of the collision when he heard a thud. 

CCTV footage captured from 900 metres north of the crash site showed the woman had a flashing light fixed to the front of her bike. 

In Wollongong Local Court on Friday, Hay was ordered to perform 175 hours of community service work.

His lawyer, Adam Bye, had earlier told the court Hay had been the first to come to the injured woman’s aid, and that he felt “significant remorse” for her injuries.

He had a blemish-free driving record for the past 30 years and his chances of finding a job other than professional driving were “at his age, close to zero”, Mr Hay said. 

Hay will remain disqualified from driving for a year.