A well-known WA pastoralist will spend at least another eight months in jail after failing to overturn his dangerous driving conviction and sentence in the State’s highest court this morning. Kimberly ‘Cob’ de Pledge was jailed for three years and 10 months in September 2019 for his role in a crash on a remote Pilbara highway that killed a couple and orphaned their two children three years ago. The appeal against his sentence and conviction was dismissed by the Court of Appeals this morning, with the State finding the appeal was “without merit” and the sentence was “not unreasonable or plainly unjust”. He will be eligible for parole in October. De Pledge, then 49, was driving a loaded cattle truck on Great Northern Highway in June, 2017, when he clipped the back of a caravan being towed by holidaying couple Mark and Lara Dawson. The family was on their way to Broome with their two teenage children. De Pledge was carting cattle from Hooley Station to Broome for export when he approached roadworks at Coonarie Creek bridge, 165km south-east of Port Hedland, while travelling behind the Dawsons. The roadworks came after a bend in the road where both the 80kph and 60kph roadworks speed limit signs were lying flat on one side of the road. During the trial, de Pledge argued he did not see the roadworks signs but hit the brakes as soon as he noticed the brake lights on the caravan in front – about 250 to 300m away from the caravan. The court found de Pledge failed to slow down adequately for the roadworks and clipped the back of the caravan towed by the Dawson family’s Landcruiser, pushing the vehicle into oncoming traffic. Mr and Ms Dawson were killed but their children Jack, then 16, and Larissa, then 14, escaped with minor injuries. Dozens of pastoralists from across WA gathered at the Court of Appeal on October 23 to support de Pledge, who appeared by videolink dressed in prison greens. Among his supporters were his mother and father, Joe and Jane, who had been leading the push to have their son released from jail. Today, Joe said he was disappointed in the result but declined to comment further. De Pledge’s jailing sent shockwaves through WA’s transport and pastoral industry and sparked calls for an urgent overhaul of safety around roadworks on outback roads. The State Government is expected to kick off a review into regional road signage this month after a petition calling for it – created in de Pledge’s honour – attracted thousands of signatures last year.