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Crane driver not guilty in Victoria crash death

crane driver freed in victoria crane crash accident

A crane driver who veered into a freeway emergency lane, striking and killing a man, has walked free after a jury found him not guilty of dangerous driving causing death.

Joseph Hrin, 34, died after he was hit by a crane driven by Matthew Eccles in September 2018.

Mr Hrin and his colleague had stopped in the emergency lane of the Western Ring Road just after 7am, after drivers alerted them to their insecure load.

At the same time, a 61-tonne crane veered about a metre into the lane. 

Mr Hrin was thrown several metres in the air. He died at the scene from multiple injuries.

Eccles, 34, faced trial in the Victorian Supreme Court, where prosecutors alleged had driven the crane dangerously.

His lawyers said there was no dispute he was driving the crane that killed Mr Hrin, but said he was not driving it dangerously at the time.

Jurors took just over an hour to deliver their not guilty verdict after more than a week of evidence.

After the verdict, Justice John Champion told Eccles he was free to go.

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