LOST LIMB: Crash driver liable for $37k
AN AVONDALE man faced court last Friday after a careless act resulted in tragedy.
Just after midday on October 27 last year, Toaivaiola Halaifonua Palu, 48, was driving along Rosedale Rd towards Greg Tobin Court.
Initially, heading north, Palu missed the left turn into Greg Tobin Court. He then made a U-turn and entered the street from a southbound direction.
As he crossed the double white lines and turned right into Greg Tobin Court, Palu saw, at the last minute, a motorcycle rider coming towards him.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Grant Klaassen said the Harley Davidson rider, Graham Crowden, was flown to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane where he had his left leg amputated.
"The rider has no recollection of the crash," Sen-Const Klaassen said.
"A witness who was located approximately 100m behind said the vehicle did not indicate."
The Tongan-born father of three was represented by duty lawyer Thomas Bray who appealed to the court that this was the first accident the defendant had ever been in and was extremely emotional and remorseful.
"He has been badly affected and still dreams about it most nights," MrBray said.
"He is seeing a Salvation Army counsellor, and at the time he tried to assist the motorcycle rider."
Palu pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention. MrBray said the investigation found the defendant was not operating the vehicle dangerously.
The court heard Palu was still civilly liable for a $37,000 insurance contribution after being considered at fault for injury, but not property.
Acting magistrate Neil Lavaring convicted and fined Palu $1000 and disqualified him from holding or obtaining a licence for two months.