Distracted driver fronts court

A “WELL known ballroom dancer” was lucky to be alive after the vehicle he was driving collided with a flatbed truck on June 10.

Gregory Ray McCormack, of Lawrence Street, Gympie, was brought before Gympie Magistrates Court on a charge of driving without due care and attention.

McCormack, 20, told police he was driving his father’s Peugeot down the Bruce Highway at the speed limit, with his mobile phone tucked under his right leg, ready to be used as a GPS when he arrived in Nambour. Not far past the Kenilworth turnoff, the phone slipped and fell to the floor.

McCormack said he reached for it and took his eyes off the road for a second but his car swerved into the lane of oncoming traffic.

A white flatbed truck heading towards him swerved to the left to avoid a collision. As McCormack did the same however, it was too late and the vehicles crashed.

Both drivers moved their vehicles off the road and waited for police.

Defence solicitor Tammy Kerle said McCormack had been driving his father’s car to Nambour to have it serviced and planned to use his phone to find his way around Nambour.

“My client learned the hard way that taking his eyes off the road for a moment could prove fatal,” she said.

Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said she was presiding over an inquest into a traffic crash which happened in almost the exact same circumstances.

“But the guy in your seat died,” she said.

McCormack was placed on a bond to be of good behaviour for six months with the condition he attends a safe driving workshop.

In a similar matter in Gympie Magistrates Court, Petronella Maria Cannings pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention on September 20.

Cannings, 39, failed to negotiate a bend after taking her eyes off the road to talk to her passenger.

Her car ran off the road, down an embankment, through a fence and ended up in a dam off Hyland Road, East Deep Creek.

The court heard there were no injuries and Cannings, of Hyland Road, was ordered to complete 14 hours of community service.

Gympie Times


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