TRAGIC TALE: A Gympie woman's life has highlighted the hidden road toll - the suffering of injured survivors.
TRAGIC TALE: A Gympie woman's life has highlighted the hidden road toll - the suffering of injured survivors. Matthew Deans

Crash survivor's life became ongoing disaster

"HORRENDOUS injuries” from a car crash 12 years ago turned a Southside woman's life into a cascading series of disasters, Gympie Magistrates Court was told yesterday.

The disasters included severe brain damage that made her vulnerable to people who had conned her out of the $1.4 million she was awarded as compensation for her injuries.

The court was told Janet McBain, 49, had gone from working mother of three, with a fourth child on the way, to a life of constant suffering, grief and unemployment.

The crash had caused her a miscarriage, the loss of an eye, a crushed leg and frontal lobe brain damage which had caused her to make the poor decisions that led her to the court, solicitor Elizabeth McAulay said.

Resultant trauma had caused depression and anxiety.

McBain had overcome a painkiller addiction "with the help of alcohol and cannabis.”

McBain pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine, marijuana and a pipe and to driving unlicensed on the Old Bruce Highway at Kybong on April 21 last year. At the time, she was unaware her licence had expired, Ms McAulay said.

"She is not a regular user of meth,” she said.

McBain pleaded guilty to unlicensed driving and drink driving at Nambour on April 25, when she registered a blood alcohol reading of .034 per cent, exceeding the zero limit applying to people caught driving unlicensed.

She also pleaded guilty to unlicensed driving in an unregistered and uninsured car with a false number plate in Gympie on May 27 and failing to appear in court on June 25.

"I have great sympathy for your situation,” Magistrate Chris Callaghan said.

"You suffered horrendous injuries in the 2007 crash.

"You suffered more (from) other people ripping you off.”

He fined McBain $300 for uninsured driving and ordered the money go to the State Government's Nominal Defendant Fund to compensate victims of crashes. He ordered no further punishment.

Gympie Times


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