Plumber who left seven people injured when he blacked out from drug-induced fatigue has been jailed

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A Victorian plumber who left another man wheelchair-bound after passing out from drug-induced fatigue while driving a truck has been jailed.

Benjamin Black’s truck was carrying a load of more than 19 tonnes when he blacked out, ran a red light and collided with six vehicles in December 2017.

Black, 33, injured seven people and returned a positive result for methylamphetamine following the crash at Sydney Road, Fawkner in Melbourne‘s north.

Michael Yates, a 32-year-old bricklayer who was returning from work, suffered ‘catastrophic’ injuries, Judge Kevin Doyle told the Victorian County Court on Monday.

A Victorian plumber who left another man wheelchair-bound after passing out from drug-induced fatigue while driving a truck has been jailed (stock image of a plumber)

A Victorian plumber who left another man wheelchair-bound after passing out from drug-induced fatigue while driving a truck has been jailed (stock image of a plumber)

Mr Yates is now wheelchair bound, he said, as well as being dependent on daily care from his sister to help him eat, clean and groom himself.

As Judge Doyle handed Black a total sentence of two years and four months in prison, he said Mr Yates had been ‘irreparably damaged’ by the injuries and that he, as well as his mother and sister, would never be the same.

He said there was no medical cause for the driver’s blackout.

Michael Yates, a 32-year-old bricklayer who was returning from work, suffered 'catastrophic' injuries, Judge Kevin Doyle told the Victorian County Court (pictured) on Monday

Michael Yates, a 32-year-old bricklayer who was returning from work, suffered ‘catastrophic’ injuries, Judge Kevin Doyle told the Victorian County Court (pictured) on Monday

Instead, the judge accepted it was likely triggered by rebound fatigue from drugs he had consumed several days before getting behind the wheel.

‘To fall asleep at the wheel of a truck during peak hour involves the near inevitability of serious injury,’ Judge Doyle told the court on Monday.

‘This is not a case of momentary inattention – your driving with those drugs in your system was the cause of the collision.’

Black, who pleaded guilty and was convicted of two counts of dangerous driving causing serious injury, will be eligible for parole after one year and two months.

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