Speeding doctor distracted when woman hit and killed

 

A BRISBANE doctor who hit and killed a pedestrian on her way to hospital to start a shift told police she was "thinking about work" and didn't see the woman crossing the road.

Trainee anaesthetist Sharne O'Reilly, 34, was driving to work in January last year when she hit and killed a pedestrian on Gympie Rd at the exit of the Airport Link Tunnel.

O'Reilly was travelling 86km/h in a 60km/h zone and the woman had been crossing three lanes of traffic on the usually busy road about 7am, a Brisbane court heard.

Brisbane trainee anaesthetist Sharne O'Reilly, 34, has pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death. Picture: Facebook
Brisbane trainee anaesthetist Sharne O'Reilly, 34, has pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death. Picture: Facebook

The 34-year-old, who has pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, will be sentenced on Friday.

During submissions in the Brisbane District Court today, crown prosecutor Mark Whitbread said O'Reilly had incurred several speeding tickets in the years leading up to the incident, which occurred on January 20, 2018.

The court heard O'Reilly, whose Facebook profile says she works at a Brisbane children's hospital, rendered assistance to the woman after the crash, but she died at the scene.

Mr Whitbread said she told police after her arrest that she was on her way to work at the time of the crash.

O'Reilly told investigators she was "thinking about work and she couldn't see the woman as she was coming out of the tunnel", the court heard.

The court heard the woman who died had been the sole carer for her elderly mother, who also died several months later because she stopped eating and taking her medication.

Defence barrister Greg McGuire told the court the pedestrian was dressed in white and had been wandering "aimlessly" on the footpath before she stepped out into the traffic.

He called the crash an "unusual case" and said the woman's choice to step out onto the road "can only be described as an extremely dangerous manoeuvre".

Chief Judge Kerry O'Brien said if the matter had gone to trial it was possible the defendant could have raised the defence of causation in the circumstances.

Several references from other doctors were tendered to support O'Reilly, who will be sentenced for the offence on Friday.


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