Students take part in a mock court session as part of the Kenny+Partners Moot Competition 2011 at the Old Courtroom, Gladstone Courthouse, 16 Yaroon Street. A judges anvil Photo Chris Chan/The Observer
Students take part in a mock court session as part of the Kenny+Partners Moot Competition 2011 at the Old Courtroom, Gladstone Courthouse, 16 Yaroon Street. A judges anvil Photo Chris Chan/The Observer Chris Chan

No jail time for drunk driver who hit 83-year-old man

A DRIVER who struck and severely injured an 83-year-old man believed he had hit a bird after seeing damage and blood on the front of his car.

Ryan Alexander Simpson, 29, was drink-driving and distracted by passengers when he hit Maryborough resident Ralph Tanner on Cheapside St on August 28 about 11pm.

Yesterday, Simpson pleaded guilty in Maryborough Magistrates Court to driving without due care and attention.

He was fined $2500 and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

The charge of drink-driving had been dealt with at a previous court appearance, where Simpson was disqualified from driving for another three months.

Police had pulled Mr Simpson over for a random breath test on the night of August 28 when they noticed damage to the front passenger side of the car.

Simpson blew 0.074% blood alcohol content.

Later that night, police were called to Cheapside St where Mr Tanner had been found injured and lying on the street about 1am by a passing motorist.

At the time of the incident, police said his walking frame was found several metres away from Mr Tanner.

He was taken to Hervey Bay Hospital with a shattered elbow and fractures to the arms, legs and pelvis before he was later airlifted to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

Mr Tanner was discharged from hospital earlier this month.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Elder said Simpson had been co-operative and had showed remorse.

"You have no doubt gone over what has happened," Magistrate John Smith told Simpson.

Simpson told the court he had been diagnosed with depression since the incident.

Mr Smith said he normally would have imposed a term of imprisonment but did not because Simpson had a steady job.



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