Frank Rogers denied having any knowledge of hitting a woman and four men – aged in their 20s and 30s – when he allegedly cut the intersection corner and mounted the footpath on the corner of City Road and Power Street in Southbank on Thursday night.
The 64-year-old – who has driven a truck for 40 years – told his lawyer he was surprised when police knocked on his door and charged him with two counts of dangerous driving causing serious injury.
He told police he felt a bump but believed it was the rear axel mounting the kerb as it often does.
More than a dozen of emergency vehicles, including police, ambulances and firefighters quickly swarmed the area after the collision, with bystanders also stopping to assist as the five pedestrians left bleeding on the ground.
All five sustained lower body injuries.
One man in his 20s remains in a critical but stable condition in the Alfred Hospital.
Two others in their 30s are in a serious condition at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
A woman and man – both in their 20s – are stable.
Detective Leading Senior Constable Ben Oliver told Melbourne Magistrates’ Court he thought the incident was a “reckless act”.
“A truck of that size, and the angle at which he took such a busy intersection says to me there was no possible way that truck was going to make that corner on its own,” Mr Oliver said today.
The City Road and Power Street intersection is notorious for accidents, heavily populated with foot traffic and trucks coming on and off the Westgate Freeway.
A local resident told 9News the corner was a “disaster waiting to happen”, witnessing a number of accidents and near-misses over the years.
Mr Oliver said the way the cabin moved suggested to him Mr Rogers had “knowledge of more than just hitting the kerb”.
“Having watched the footage numerous times, I believe there was sufficient knowledge a collision occurred given you see the rear axel jump significantly back onto the road.”
Mr Rogers was on his way to the depot to conclude his shift when the accident occurred.
The prosecutor argued Mr Rogers put the public in danger.
“The intersection is not the danger, Your Honour, it’s the person driving the truck that’s the danger.”
The court heard Mr Rogers has no criminal history, nor a record of drug or alcohol abuse.
He was granted bail on condition he surrendered his passport, does not drive a truck or tow anything and stays at a stable address.
More charges could be laid over the incident.
Mr Rogers will next appear in court in September.