Moment of distraction caused devastating crash

BENDING down to pick up fallen items while driving led to a crash which left a woman with serious injuries, Toowoomba District Court has heard.

Walter James Thrush, 28, had been driving a work truck on the Drayton Connection Road on March 11, last year, when his iPad and some brochures fell to the floor, Crown prosecutor Jessica Goldie told the court.

While bending down to retrieve the items, he took his eye off the road and his truck ploughed into the back of a car turning right at the intersection.

The victim's car was propelled out into the path of oncoming traffic and was struck by another vehicle, Ms Goldie said.

The 68-year-old woman driver sustained multiple fractures to her leg, ribs and vertebrae, scalp lacerations and concussion and spent eight months attending hospitals for eight operations to her leg.

She now used a wheelchair and walking frame to get around and at considerable cost to her had alterations done to her home for wheelchair access.

However, by her victim impact statement the woman said she was not angry with the defendant who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.

The woman's 10-year-old grandson was in the car at the time but fortunately was not injured, the court heard.

Thrush's barrister Robbie Davies told the court his client accepted full responsibility for the crash which was the result of "momentary inattention".

Judge Craig Chowdhury noted Thrush's otherwise good character and sentenced him to 18 months in jail but wholly suspended the term for two years and disqualified him from driving for two years.


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