Crash driver 'zones out' but can't say why
ANGELA Prange does big hours working behind the wheel of monster mine trucks but when heading off to work in her new Mazda she inexplicably "zoned out” and crashed.
Her car crossed over the centre lines on the Bruce Hwy and into the oncoming south-bound traffic lane colliding with two other vehicles.
An elderly woman was taken to hospital but Prange and the male driver of a third vehicle were not injured.
Prange, 32, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court to driving without due care and attention on February 16 at Kolonga.
Prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess said police went to the scene at 9.30am and found three vehicles damaged including Prange's grey Mazda sedan.
Witnesses told officers that they saw her north-bound car cross the centre lane and strike the front of the elderly woman's car.
She then collided with a man's vehicle.
"She (Prange) says she was not fatigued and does not remember much. And cannot explain why,” Sgt Burgess said.
"Says she must have zoned out.”
Sgt Burgess said the Bruce Hwy was not a place where drivers could zone out and there were warning signs about fatigue.
Defence lawyer John Dodd said Prange is a professional truck driver of heavy mining trucks, drives them 12 hours a day, and can't explain why she zoned out that morning.
He said she was on her way to a work site which was a six-and-a-half hour drive after leaving her home in the Bundaberg area.
Mr Dodd said she stopped before the crash at Gin Gin so was reasonably refreshed and been driving a new car in good weather.
In his submission for the mother of one not to lose her driver's licence, Mr Dodd said she earns $100,000 a year and was the main earner for her family as her partner drove taxis on a minimal wage.
Magistrate Belinda Merrin said she would not disqualify her after consideration of material put before her.
However, it had been very serious as Prange had driven on the incorrect side of the highway.
While there had been significant consequences, she was fortunate these had not been even more serious.
Prange was convicted and fined $2000.