Joel Benjamin Marschke, who caused a fatal traffic crash, pleaded guilty to driving while a court-ordered ban was imposed.
Joel Benjamin Marschke, who caused a fatal traffic crash, pleaded guilty to driving while a court-ordered ban was imposed.

Drink-driver who caused fatal crash risks more jail time

A DRINK-DRIVER jailed over a fatal crash at Moranbah has risked further time behind bars after ignoring a court-ordered driving ban.

Joel Benjamin Marschke had worked a 13.5 hour day, knocked back a number of drinks at a friend’s barbecue and driven more than 300km when he fell asleep at the wheel just before 5am in March 2015.

What followed was a head-on collision on the Moranbah Access Rd that killed the other driver. He was jailed for five years – suspended after 20 months – and disqualified from driving for five years.

Joel Benjamin Marschke pleaded guilty to driving while was a court-ordered ban imposed after he caused a fatal traffic crash.
Joel Benjamin Marschke pleaded guilty to driving while was a court-ordered ban imposed after he caused a fatal traffic crash.

The 31-year-old fabricator recently found it difficult to lock down regular work without his licence – so when he got a call about a job, he borrowed a motorbike from a friend in a desperate move to earn some cash.

When Mackay road police crews spotted the blue motorcycle, which resembled another bike that had been stolen, at a service station on the Peak Downs Hwy and spoke with Marschke – he tried to dodge their questions.

“He was evasive in his answers … (he) became agitated and stressed,” prosecutor Rob Beamish said.

Marschke pleaded guilty on Monday to disqualified driving on October 13 this year.

His “foolish decision” means he must now go back before Mackay District Court to be resentenced over the fatal crash.

His licence was also disqualified for another two years.

Legal Aid Queensland solicitor Danny Yarrow said the dangerous driving causing death while adversely affected offence had been committed against a background of “substantial turmoil” in his client’s life.

The court heard Marschke had found work two weeks after his release from jail in late 2017 but was made redundant in June this year.

Mr Yarrow said his client worked casually but had been unable to find consistent work “due to not having his licence”.

“He has been relying on Newstart allowance in the amount of about $360 a week,” Mr Yarrow said.

An application to join the Royal Australian Army has been stalled because Marschke was still on a suspended sentence.

Mr Yarrow said Marschke got a call about a job interview at short notice and with his partner away, he borrowed a friend’s motorbike.

“His driving comes some four years into his five-year disqualification,” he said.

Since this offence Marschke has completed a Queensland traffic offenders program.

Marschke was also fined $500 and Acting Magistrate John Aberdeen committed him back to the higher court.


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Small amounts of rain are predicted for the Central Highlands.

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