First car wash ends in crash
HIS white V6 Commodore had been soaped clean ready to hit the road just hours after he had bought it from his aunt, but as Christopher Bell accelerated away from Puddles Carwash he lost control.
The Commodore fish-tailed, crossed on to the wrong side of the road, then as Bell got it back on to the correct side of the road, it slammed into the rear of a parked Mitsubishi Pajero on March 2.
Bundaberg Magistrates Court heard that Bell did not deliberately drive off at speed but was not used to driving a powerful car.
He had been trying to put on his seatbelt when the car "jumped" and accelerated.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tina Bland said as Bell left Puddles Carwash on Princess St he accelerated heavily and lost control.
Snr Const Bland said Bell over-corrected, the car then fish-tailed into the oncoming traffic lane and back on to the left side of the road before crashing into the parked Pajero.
She said witnesses said Bell exited the carwash at speed and they stopped to help him after the crash.
Bell, who was not wearing a seatbelt, suffered a fractured wrist.
The 21-year-old pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
Defence lawyer Craig Ryan said Bell only bought the car that day and went for a drive to wash it.
"He had no prior dealings with a high-powered V6 Commodore," Mr Ryan said.
"While driving out of the carwash he tried to put his seatbelt on and tried to accelerate to cross to the other side of the road.
"The car just jumped when he put his foot on the accelerator.
"He tried to correct it, it fish-tailed.
"He accepts the way he drove it was unsafe but it wasn't deliberate."
Mr Ryan said Bell received concussion when his head struck the steering wheel.
He said Bell bought the car to help with his work as a zucchini and tomato picker.
Magistrate Belinda Merrin said Bell had endangered other road users.
Ms Merrin said the fact he bought the car that day was even more reason to exercise some care.
She ordered him to complete 120 hours of community service.
Bell was disqualified from driving for six months.