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Catani fatal crash: truckie Jobandeep Singh Gill had 13 demerit points, court told

The truck driver charged over the deaths of four members of the same family had already lost 13 demerit points for driving offences over a three-year span, a court has heard.

But rather than lose his licence, Jobandeep Singh Gill sought from VicRoads an option notice, which allows drivers to retain their licence provided they don't lose any more demerit points over the following year.

Mr Gill, 27, faces four counts of culpable driving and six other charges following last Friday's crash in Catani, south-east of Melbourne, in which two adults and two children died. Stephen and Jade Beckett, 36 and 33 respectively, and their two youngest children, Ella, 6, and William, 2, were killed when their car and the truck collided at the intersection of Caldermeade and Heads roads about 8.55am.

The couple's oldest child, Sam, 9, survived after another truck driver helped him from the family car. The family was on its way to the children's Koo Wee Rup school.

Police allege Mr Gill failed to stop at a stop sign.

The driver was granted bail despite prosecution fears he would flee to his homeland of India if released, similar to the way Puneet Puneet did five years ago, using a friend's passport.


Investigators are trying to extradite Mr Puneet from India so he can answer charges over the death of a Queensland student who was hit by a car in Melbourne in 2008.

During his bail application, the court heard Mr Gill lost 13 demerit points between 2009 and 2012, including one infringement for using a mobile phone while driving, and four speeding fines. But rather than lose his licence, he sought an option notice. The court heard Mr Gill told police his gearbox jammed as he approached the intersection and his truck continued moving.

But Detective Acting Sergeant Trevor Collins, of the major collision investigation unit, said that explanation was ''extremely implausible''. He said the intersection had warning signs and rumble strips designed to alert drivers to stop, and dismissed any concerns road users had about the approach.

''If the accused, in my mind, had any issue with seeing vehicles over the paddocks either to the left or to the right, then that would have been resolved by the accused stopping at the stop sign,'' he said.

The weather and visibility were both good, the court heard.

When Mr Gill's barrister, Abdullah Altintop, asked Detective Acting Sergeant Collins if the driver posed any risk to the community, the detective replied: ''No, other than his inability to stop at stop signs.'' The driver had no alcohol or illegal drugs in his system, the court heard.

Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen ruled it was ''fanciful'' to suggest Mr Gill would flee to India, because he was married to an Australian citizen and seeking permanent residency.

Mr Gill was granted bail on the conditions he present to police twice a week, not drive any vehicle and on a surety of $15,000, to be contributed by his wife, a family friend and a fellow truck driver.

He is expected to be released from custody on Friday and is due back in court on June 12.