Driver, 19, hits walker and flees

A 19-YEAR-OLD woman who “freaked out” when she hit a pedestrian with her car in Maryborough’s CBD in September was lucky to escape jail time when she fronted the Maryborough Magistrates Court.

Chantelle Bonnie Purcell “wasn’t concentrating” when she turned into Kent Street and hit one of two women attempting to use a pedestrian crossing on a green light.

She was so “freaked out” by the incident that she ignored requests to stop the car and drove off.

Purcell, who has never held a Queensland driver’s licence, was intercepted by police on the Maryborough-Hervey Bay Road a short time later.

The court heard she admitted she had been distracted by her friend in the passenger seat and “hadn’t seen the pedestrians until too late”.

Prosecutor Sergeant Michael Quirk said that while Purcell did stop briefly to apologise to the victim, she did not pull over to help.

The victim suffered only minor injuries to her left leg, which was hit by the bumper.

Defence lawyer Tamara Kurle told the court Purcell felt terrible about the incident.

She said that on the day of the incident Purcell was driving an upset friend – who owned the vehicle – to see her partner in Maryborough.

Magistrate John Smith noted Purcell had been convicted for unlicensed driving earlier this year and sentenced her to three months suspended imprisonment for driving without a licence.

She was fined a further $900 for failing to remain at the scene of the accident and $750 for driving without due care and attention.

Her licence was disqualified for two years.



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