The son of a man who died in a shocking bus crash near Kangaroo Valley has been found not guilty of causing his father's death.
Bringelly bus company operator Simon Lees and Narellan heavy vehicle inspector Stuart Lewry were both acquitted on manslaughter charges on Thursday, nine years after Simon's father Graham was killed when his 53-seater bus plunged into a ravine on Barrengarry Mountain.
Mr Lees, the owner and accredited manager of G&S Minibuses, had been driving 27 passengers to a retreat in Kangaroo Valley on the night of May 14, 2010 when the coach's brakes failed on a hairpin bend, causing the vehicle to crash through a guard rail and career down a six metre embankment.
Mr Lees was killed instantly in the crash; another passenger was seriously injured.
Police began an extensive investigation, eventually charging Lees and Lewry with manslaughter. Both men denied the allegations.
During the four-week trial, prosecutors alleged Lees, as G&S's then operations manager, was responsible for maintaining the company's fleet of buses and had breached his duty of care by allowing the Starliner to be used that day, knowing it's brakes were faulty.
Meanwhile, Lewry stood accused of signing off on the Starliner's roadworthiness just days before the accident without having inspected the vehicle.
However, Judge Andrew Haesler on Thursday found prosecutors had failed to prove their case against either man.
He said the Crown had not be able to prove that Lees' role in the company was that of a manager with responsibility and control over maintenance and repair of the fleet.
"The responsibility to ensure these things were done rested on the accredited manager," he said.'
"There is no evidence Graham Lees had ever told Simon of the regulatory requirements; to the contrary, Graham Lees was still in charge and still in control of finances, repairs, allocation and rostering at the time of his death."
In relation to Lewry's case, Judge Haesler said there were "too many alternative scenarios" for him to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that Lewry had not inspected the vehicle as required.
Both Lewry and Lees hugged emotional family members after the verdict was read out, before the pair themselves embraced outside the courtroom.
When asked about the verdict outside the courthouse, Lees remained tightlipped, only saying he was "relieved" at the outcome.
Meanwhile, his barrister, Greg Heathcote, said it had been a terrible time for the whole family.
"It's a tragedy, he lost his father," he said.