Jail time for driver who was an 'accident waiting to happen'
A YOUNG man who was behind the wheel of a VX Commodore when it rolled while travelling at 170kmh and seriously injured his friend was sentenced to four years behind bars in Rockhampton District Court this week.
Adam William Reynolds pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm with excessive speed after his car rolled several times on Emu Park Rd at 11.20pm on September 27 last year.
Crown prosecutor Alexandra Baker told the court the 23-year-old and his 20-year-old friend were travelling as part of a two-car convoy to Emu Park on the night when Reynolds performed a burnout and "blazed away" from the other car.
The following car came across the wreck and debris strewn over the road four to 10 minutes later.
She said Reynolds' friend, the passenger, received serious head and neck injuries, a fractured vertebrae and a bleed to the brain and was transported the Royal Brisbane Hospital where he spent several days in intensive care.
"The true impact may take several years to become apparent," she said.
"The defendant estimated speeds of 190kmh to the complainant as he approached a corner and the car went into a roll three to four times and came to a rest on the side of the road.
"(He said) he was pushing the car to see how fast it could go.
"The speed was grossly in excess of the circumstances.
"The defendant essentially hooned, resulting in ongoing and life-threatening injuries to a passenger who was his friend."
A victim impact statement under the hand of the passenger's mother read the family had to move to a lowset house to assist in her son's mobility.
Defence barrister Maree Willey said the passenger was "egging him on to go faster".
Judge Michael Burnett said Reynolds' poor traffic history counted against him.
"You are, in my view, a grossly stupid and irresponsible person," Judge Burnett said.
"You were an accident waiting to happen.
"If that wasn't bad enough, plainly you were skylarking.
"Your car was not a speed car or a race car and you were not driving on a race track.
"It was grossly irresponsible and thoughtless, stupid behaviour."
Reynolds was sentenced to four years in prison, suspended after 14 months with an operational period of five years.
His licence was disqualified absolutely.