Mum in court for crash that claimed her daughter’s life
A PIONEER Valley mother was glancing at her sleeping son when she caused a deadly crash at Mirani that claimed her daughter's life.
In a matter of seconds Lauren Ashleigh Turner's life was tragically changed forever.
It was about 7.35pm on November 30 last year when the 32-year-old mum of four was driving home on Mackay Eungella Rd.
She briefly glanced at her sleeping son when her car collided with a truck carrying 20 tonnes of mill mud and then caught fire.
Heartbreakingly, Turner's 12-year-old daughter Amelia was killed and the grief-stricken mother this week fronted Mackay Magistrates Court charged with reckless driving causing death.
"The loss is unimaginable, it's something she'll have to deal with for the rest of her life," Wallace and Wallace Lawyers' Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi said.
She said Turner, who was also injured in the crash, had not driven since.
"She does still struggle to be a passenger in a car."
Amelia, who was her eldest child, would have turned 13 in April this year.
Ms Adorni-Braccesi said this "extra curial punishment" was at the very highest level possible.
Prosecutor Chelsea Pearson said it was a "short period of inattention" and a "wide range of sentencing options" were available, but she urged against a fine in light of the principles of denunciation and general deterrence.
However Magistrate Damien Dwyer did not agree.
"It's very serious but I think in your view there's nothing I can do that's going to mitigate anything," Mr Dwyer said.
"You've got the worst penalty that can ever be imposed on anyone in their life.
"And that penalty is going to be with you for the rest of your life.
"And I think that should be enough personal denunciation."
The court heard she also suffered severe psychological trauma since the crash.
"There's nothing I can do that's going to mitigate or alleviate anything," Mr Dwyer said.
"I think given this instance that a fine is appropriate."
Turner pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention causing death.
She was fined $2000 and disqualified from driving for six months, which is the minimum mandatory period.
A conviction was not recorded.