Crash trauma conflict leads to court for Glenwood driver
THE March 31 fatal crash on the Bruce Hwy at Gunalda was the wrong time and place for a driver to lecture a policeman on his manners.
And Gympie courthouse was no place to argue when magistrate M Baldwin told him he should have more empathy for the trauma suffered by emergency workers and soldiers.
Daniel Bryce Edwick, 29, of Glenwood, pleaded guilty to a public nuisance charge.
He said he was running out of fuel while stuck in the northbound lane when he drove the wrong way up the southbound merging lane from the United service station.
The police prosecutor told the court a policeman called Edwick a "f***ing d***head” and said: "We're at a fatal traffic crash and you're on the wrong side of the road.”
Edwick had started yelling at police in front of a crowd of police, bystanders and ambulance officers assisting the injured.
Edwick told the court other drivers were also crossing the highway's painted traffic island to U-turn and he would have worsened the highway blockage if he had run out of fuel while on the roadway.
"Are you usually that stupid?” Magistrate M. Baldwin asked him. "You obviously didn't know (someone had died).”
"I knew it was a fatal,” Edwick replied.
"Cars were starting to do U-turns and no vehicles were coming out of the service station.”
Police were too busy to advise him and when he was chipped by an officer, "I told him to calm down.” Edwick said, adding he thought the officer "aggressive and unprofessional”.
Mrs Baldwin was incredulous that Edwick admitted "telling a copper at a fatal accident to calm down.
"He's dealing with someone who's lost their life and you're worried about him swearing?”
She said it was hard to understand the level of stress experienced by emergency workers.
"I'm not condoning abusive language but you've got to step into their shoes.
"Just try to have a bit of thought about the other person's point of view. He's a human being,” Mrs Baldwin said.
Fining him $550 , she compared his attitude to a person saying soldiers should not get help for post traumatic stress disorder.
"I think you'd better leave before I take your licence off you,” she said.