Sydney garbage truck driver who fatally hit economics tutor sentenced to five years’ jail

A Sydney garbage truck driver who fatally hit a young economics tutor while he was reversing down a street and then moved his body, said he wished he had been under the wheels instead.

George Lin, 21, was walking along Central Street in inner Sydney about 1.04am on February 12, 2020 when he was hit by a reversing garbage truck driven by Tuiniua Fine.

George Lin, 21, was killed by a garbage truck in Sydney’s CBD in 2020.

George Lin, 21, was killed by a garbage truck in Sydney’s CBD in 2020.

CCTV footage released shortly after the crash showed Mr Lin walking as he looked down at his phone before the truck rapidly approached from behind and ran him over. After Mr Lin was hit, Fine put on gloves, got out of the truck and dragged the tutor’s body several metres away onto a footpath.

Fine then got back into his truck and drove away.

A passer-by discovered Mr Lin’s body and raised the alarm, after initially believing he was sleeping. With the help of construction workers, the group performed CPR until emergency service arrived. Mr Lin was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Fine, who had driven the street many times on his garbage route, would later tell police he thought he had hit a milk crate or palette and that pedestrians usually moved out of the truck’s way.

In delivering her sentence, Judge Sarah Huggett told Downing Centre Court that Mr Lin sustained catastrophic injuries when he was hit, which included his internal organs protruding from his body.

Fine was sentenced to five years and six months behind bars but will be eligible for parole on October 11, 2023. He will also be unable to drive for three years.

Judge Huggett said she took into account Fine’s earlier guilty plea to driving in a manner dangerous occasioning death, doing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice, and failing to stop and assist.

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