Ex-councillor guilty of crashing into Southside servo
FORMER Cooloola Shire and Mary Valley councillor Jan Watt was attempting a "common courtesy" shortly before she drove her car through the Caltex Service Station at Southside late last year.
Watt, 61, pleaded guilty to one count of driving without due care and attention or driving without reasonable consideration for other persons using road or place at Gympie Magistrates Court on Thursday morning.
The court was told Watt saw a vehicle waiting behind her and re-entered her own car with the intention of moving it to the carpark so they could fill up.
When driving forward with the driver side door open, Watt's foot slipped from the brake on to the accelerator, causing her to plough through the front window of the store.
Police prosecutor Lisa Manns said CCTV footage showed Watt's car approaching the carpark, accelerating and suddenly travelling across the bollard through the front window, hitting two women inside and damaging a refrigeration unit.
Workmates Alana Buchanan and Carly Duckworth later told The Gympie Times how "lucky" they felt to be alive after Watt's car pinned Mrs Buchanan against the counter and sliced Mrs Duckworth's arm.
Watt's solicitor Chris Anderson said his client was distressed by the incident, which was both out of character and not reflective of her driving history.
Magistrate Chris Callaghan fined Watt $300 referred to SPER, three demerit points and spared her a disqualification. No conviction was recorded.