‘Lucky he’s not dead’: Car crash runaway pays heavy price
A SOUTH Burnett man drove into financial trouble, copping a fine and writing off his $10 000 car, after crashing into a barbed wire fence and fleeing the scene, a court heard.
Aaron Leigh, 26, pleaded guilty to four charges before Nanango Magistrates Court, including driving without due care and attention, failing to comply with the duties of a driver involved in a crash, driving as a learner without supervision, and obstructing a police officer.
The court heard, about 11.30pm on October 3, Leigh lost control of his vehicle while speeding down Crumpton Drive at Blackbutt, skidded onto the wrong side of the road, hit an embankment, and crashed through a barbed wire fence surrounding a property.
Police prosecutor sergeant Pepe Gangemi said Leigh then fled the scene of the crash without informing the owner of the property about what happened to their fence. At the time, he was driving alone on a learners permit.
Leigh's lawyer, Jay Rose, said her client had previous issues relating to mixing driving with alcohol in his history.
"We've had a frank discussion about the fact that he's lucky he's not dead, given the serious nature of the facts of the crash," Ms Rose said.
Ms Rose said her client did eventually return to the scene with a friend at a later date to repair the fence and has offered to pay the $40 restitution sought by the owner for the parts that could not be restored.
According to Ms Rose, as a result of the crash, Leigh also lost his car, which cost him $10 000 and was not insured at the time.
"That was a significant financial penalty to him," she said.
When presented with the facts, Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said two things stood out to him as being particularly problematic. Firstly, the fact that the defendant was travelling "far too fast", clocking a speed of 80km/h at the time of the crash.
Secondly, the sheer number of breaches for "simple things".
"In your traffic history there are repeated breaches for simple things - not remaining at the scene, not driving with an open license holder, not wearing a bicycle helmet," he said.
"Driving is a very dangerous thing when people aren't qualified to do it."
Taking into consideration his youth, early plea, and the significant financial loss of the car, Leigh was slapped with a lenient fine of $500, which was referred to SPER, and disqualified from holding to obtaining a drivers licence for three months.
He will also be required to pay $40 compensation for the barbed wire fence.
"You still have your age on your side, and perhaps for the last time, I'll order no convictions be recorded," Magistrate Sinclair said.