The truck driver accused of causing the death of a cyclist in Bendigo through dangerous driving has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Magistrate Bruce Cottrill determined Mathew Gray, 42, should stand trial in the County Court, following a committal hearing in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Monday.
On June 7 last year, Mr Gray's waste collection truck collided with 18-year-old Michael Keating at the intersection of Hattam Street and Woodward Road in Golden Square.
The court heard from three witnesses, including sleep specialist Associate Professor Mark Howard.
Associate Professor Howard told the court he calculated Mr Gray likely had less than four hours of sleep the night before the crash, based on the average time it took a person to fall asleep and how long they then spent asleep.
Under five hours of sleep led to a threefold increase in the risk of a crash, Associate Professor Howard said, while on less than four hours' sleep a driver's risk of a crash increased 15 times.
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He told the court that the methamphetamine Mr Gray admitted taking the night before was a stimulant and could have affected both the quality and duration of his sleep.
During cross-examination by defence lawyer Markorius Habib, Associate Professor Howard agreed that fatigue might have contributed to the crash, but another factor could have caused it instead and he could not say whether Mr Gray was affected by fatigue as he entered the intersection.
The court heard from Detective Senior Constable Melanie Macfarlane, a member of Victoria Police's Collision Reconstruction and Mechanical Investigation Team, that it was most likely that the front of the truck collided with the left side of the bicycle.
The court viewed videos and photographs taken of the intersection from inside the cabin of the truck by Detective Senior Constable Ben Oliver from the Major Collision Investigation Unit.
A give way sign governed traffic approaching the intersection on Woodward Road, which Mr Gray was driving on. Mr Keating was cycling on Hattam Street.
The photographs showed a police officer standing or kneeling at various points along the road, from the direction Mr Keating travelled.
In cross-examination, Detective Senior Constable Oliver said it appeared in one photo that the officer was blocked by the truck's wing mirror.
GPS data was used to find the truck was travelling at 34km/h about 17 metres before the intersection, the court heard, but its speed at the intersection could not be determined.
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The court heard an expert was unable to establish the impact of the methamphetamine Mr Gray took the night before.
Mr Habib said dangerous driving required that a serious breach occurred in the proper operation and control of the vehicle.
He submitted that the strength of the prosecution's case only extended so far as to say a number of factors might have contributed to the crash.
But prosecutor Grant Hayward said a jury could find that Mr Gray was affected by fatigue and that a man who slept four hours the night before created a dangerous situation by driving.
Mr Cottrill said that while the matters raised during the committal highlighted the difficulties a jury could face in determining the guilt of Mr Gray, the prosecution had reached the threshold necessary for the matter to go to trial and it was a decision for a jury.
A directions hearing will be held in the County Court next month.
Other charges against Mr Gray, including careless driving, failing to give way and exceeding the prescribed concentration of drugs, will be transferred to the higher court.
Mr Gray remains on bail with conditions that include a driving ban and a nightly curfew.
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