A driver who caused a horror highway smash that claimed the life of a two-year-old girl has pleaded guilty to the crime during a court appearance from his bed.
Matt Livingston, 42, of Donald, crashed his 42-tonne semi-trailer on the Calder Freeway in Victoria just before Christmas last year, hitting three cars.
The toddler, from Caulfield South in Melbourne’s south-east, was sitting in the back of her family’s Volkswagen SUV.
Her parents and baby sister were also seriously injured in the crash, which was captured on dash cam by another motorist travelling behind.
Matt Livingston was behind the wheel of a semi-trailer that careened out of control
In a Facebook post in September – three months before the tragedy – Matt Livingston uploaded a photo of his truck (pictured)
Livingston captioned the Facebook photo with the caption ‘livin’ the dream’ (pictured)
On Friday, Livingston appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court via videolink.
Dressed in a grey hoodie, a Carlton Blues scarf and other memorabilia could be seen hanging off the bed head alongside two teddy bears.
Livingston faces prison greens and a mouldy mattress after his plea hearing in the County Court of Victoria takes place on December 7 – almost a year to the day his driving cost the life of his young victim.
Livingston has pleaded guilty to more than a dozen charges, including culpable driving causing death, negligently causing serious injury and conduct endangering serious injury.
He also admitted to not only failing to update his truck driver’s log book, but fudging it and failing to take adequate rest breaks.
Culpable driving in Victoria carries a 20-year maximum prison sentence.
Livingston remains free in the community on bail until his plea in December.
Following the crash, it was revealed the 42-year-old was a passionate driver who often posted on social media about how much he loved his job.
He uploaded an image of his semi-trailer at sunset on Facebook in September – just three months before the accident – with the caption ‘livin’ the dream’.
Livingston’s profile was filled with photos taken from behind the wheel of his truck – most of which include gifs with hearts, comments about his love for truck driving, and endearing messages from friends and family.
Truck driver Matt Livingston (pictured) was involved in a crash on a Victorian freeway in which a two-year-old was killed and her parents and sister injured
Livingston often posted images of his truck on social media (pictured)
The horrific crash shocked the nation just weeks out of Christmas last year.
Jarrod Bell of Victoria’s State Emergency Service said it was a ‘confronting’ scene to attend.
‘Six vehicles and five people trapped, this is one of the largest and most complex calls I have attended in a decade,’ he said.
‘Any incident involving a child is challenging but when we are dealing with the death of a two-year-old that breaks my heart. This call is something that will sit with us for quite a while.’
Police were investigating several factors around the circumstances of the crash.
The crash was a scene of total carnage (scene pictured)
A two-year-old girl died. Her sister and parents were in critical condition after the horror smash on a busy freeway (pictured)
‘We are too early in the investigation to come up with those answers – whether there is involvement of excessive speeding or drugs, or anything like that,’ Detective Sergeant Mark Amos said at the time.
‘It is simple physics why this happened and if people don’t show some responsibility and respect it, then this will continue… and other families are going to have the single worst Christmas of their lives.’
Distressing images showed grain and debris strewn across the highway, which was closed when emergency services arrived on the scene.
Onlookers said the wreckage was the worst they had ever seen.
‘Drove past this just after it happened and I felt sick to my stomach. Terrible,’ one woman wrote on Facebook.
Others who were stuck in traffic as a result said they broke down when they saw the tragedy on the news.
Confronting dashcam footage showed the moment the truck ploughed into several vehicles entering a 40km/h roadwork zone.
An SES officer said the crash site (pictured) was a ‘confronting’ scene to attend on Monday
Emergency crews rushed to the scene on the Calder Freeway in Melbourne ‘s north west, just after 2.30pm on Monday
A car in front of the semi-trailer appeared to swerve into the right-side lane, prompting the truck to do the same.
But the truck crashed into the back of a vehicle and a massive multi-car collision followed, ending with the semi-trailer toppling over.
‘This is a catastrophe, this is an absolute disaster,’ Detective Amos said at the time.
‘It’s monumentally frustrating to see this sort of stuff… take your time, slow down, look after each other.’
Aerial images showed the large truck on its side with the grain covering much of the road.
Debris from other cars was also strewn across the freeway including a vehicle that was towing a boat.