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Driver fights dangerous driving charge

Bundaberg court house Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
Bundaberg court house Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN110814CRT2

ASSISTED by a walking stick as she made her way to the witness box, Sandra Lowe described the moment both her legs were fractured in a head-on crash on the Burnett Hwy near Eidsvold.

It was just after noon on September 13, 2013, and Ms Lowe was a passenger the car being driven by her husband when a white van crossed double white lines as it tried to overtake a cattle truck pulling off the side of the highway.

In Bundaberg District Court on Monday Matthew Stephen Brome, 27, pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.

Mrs Lowe said the couple's car started to cross the cattle truck, travelling in the opposite direction, when the white van pulled out from behind the truck.

"He tried to avoid us by going up an embankment. But he hit the front of the car...the side I was in," she said.

"We spun around. The way we were going was the way we ended up."

Mrs Lowe said she remembered thinking her leg was broken before losing consciousness and waking up in hospital.

The court heard Mrs Lowe's injuries included a fractured right ankle and foot, a deformity to the right ankle caused by damage to the muscles, ligaments and tendons and a fracture to the left thigh bone.

Also giving evidence on Monday was the driver of the cattle truck, mechanic Robert Gardiner.

Taking the truck he'd been working on for a test drive, Mr Gardiner said the clutch went and he was pulling off to the left-hand side of the highway when a motorcycle and then a white van crossed double white lines to go around him.

"I seen the car...I heard brakes and a loud bang and looked in the mirror and saw a heap of smoke," he said.

Defence lawyer Stephen Kissick suggested Mr Gardiner had put his right arm out the window and gestured for the motorcycle and the white van to go around. But Mr Gardiner denied making any gesture to either vehicle.

Brome also gave evidence and said Mr Gardiner had waved himself and the motorcycle through, which he took as a signal that it was safe to go around.

"I thought the truck driver could see further ahead," he said.

"I thought it must be safe. I hadn't seen any traffic for miles. I had a quick look. I couldn't see any traffic ahead."

The first police officer to attend the scene, Senior Constable James Ingram said he asked Brome at what caused the crash.

Snr Const Ingram said Brome's response was: "My own stupidity. I thought it would be okay."

The trial continues.

Topics:  bundaberg district court, eidsvold



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