News

Jail for driver high on pot who caused fatal crash

HIGH on marijuana, and with a cocktail of prescription medication in his system, Hew Reed Lewis, 31, got behind the wheel.

It was about 7.40pm on June 6, 2014, when Lewis turned on to Rosedale Rd from a side road and drove a short distance before failing to negotiate a corner.

He crossed on to the wrong side of the road and into the path of an oncoming motorcycle.

The head-on crash instantly killed 51-year-old Christopher David Semb (pictured), while Lewis suffered head injuries which left him in a Brisbane hospital intensive care unit for five days.

In Bundaberg District Court on Friday, Lewis pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing death while adversely affected.

Gladstone man Chris Semb was killed on Rosedale Rd by a 31-year-old driving high on prescription drugs and marijuana.
Gladstone man Chris Semb was killed on Rosedale Rd by a 31-year-old driving high on prescription drugs and marijuana. Carolyn Archer

 

Crown prosecutor David Finch said Lewis made the choice to voluntarily consume the marijuana before getting behind the wheel.

"It has had the direct consequence where another road user has lost their life," he said.

That life was Mr Semb's, a husband, father, son, and grandfather. His family was in court to hear the sentence yesterday. Some sat in the back of the court room while others watched via videolink from New Zealand.

Defence barrister James Godbolt said was it evident from the medical evidence that Lewis's ability to drive a car was impaired due to the level of marijuana in his blood, but that the level of impairment was impossible to say.

He said while his client suffered "traumatic flashbacks", he had very little memory of the crash and was "deeply and genuinely sorry for what occurred".

Mr Godbolt said Lewis had struggled with substance addiction for some years after being exposed to marijuana as a child.

Lewis was visibly upset as Judge Fleur Kingham delivered the sentence.

She said the seriousness of the offence was categorised by three things - the dreadful consequence, the deliberate decision by Lewis to drive and the fact that he was impaired.

"You will have to live for the rest of your life with the consequences of your actions," Judge Kingham told Lewis.

She sentenced him to five years jail with a parole eligibility date set at May 12 next year.

Topics:  drug driving, fatality, hew reed lewis, marijuana, prison




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Five places in Queensland with water parks

GO EAST: East Shores in Gladstone was a gift to the community.

Bundy residents still want one here

End of an era for Bundy pub owner

END OF AN ERA: Simon Thompson is selling the Club Hotel in Bundaberg after owning it for 5 years. Photo: Paul Donaldson / NewsMail

How much will The Club Hotel sell for?

Man hands himself into police after Macca's assault

Bundaberg Police Station Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail

Macca's security guard punched in carpark

Latest deals and offers

Dash Cam of Slip in Snow

Even light snow can be hazardous.

Dash cam shows how easy it is to lose control in even light snow.

Chaos outside Istanbul Airport

Turkish police block the road after an suicide bomb attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, 28 June 2016. At least 10 people were killed in two separate explosions that hit Ataturk Airport.

Distress as cars escape Istanbul airport after bombing.

Panic inside Istanbul Airport

Turkish police block the road after an suicide bomb attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, 28 June 2016. At least 10 people were killed in two separate explosions that hit Ataturk Airport.

Dramatic vision from inside Istanbul airport after explosin.

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward