Asleep at the wheel
A PROSERPINE man who suffered a brain haemorrhage and broken ribs in a single-vehicle accident on the Bruce Highway earlier this year was lucky to escape with his life and a $550 fine.
Peter Gavin Ruddell appeared in the Proserpine Magistrate’s Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to a charge of driving without due care.
Police arrived at the scene of the accident on the highway at Bloomsbury at about 3.25pm on January 17. Ruddell and his girlfriend, who also suffered broken ribs and a laceration to her arm, were already being cared for by paramedics.
Police prosecutor Elizabeth Smith said a witness reported seeing Ruddell’s car veer into the oncoming lane where it ran off the road hitting a culvert and becoming airborne. The car rolled three times before coming to rest on the easement. Ms Smith said police were told Ruddell had fallen asleep at the wheel.
She said the 22-year-old admitted he’d been out drinking with friends until about 12.30am but had slept until about 8am that day. She said he admitted blacking out about 200 metres before the crash but his blood samples tested negative for the presence of alcohol or drugs.
In court on Monday Ruddell had nothing to say in his defence other than to ask magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist not to disqualify him.
On hearing the extent of the injuries sustained in the crash, Mr Stjernvist remarked on what could have happened.
“You’re lucky aren’t you,” he said, making no orders about Ruddell’s licence.