The car the Hewitt family was travelling in when they crashed into an abandoned vehicle.
The car the Hewitt family was travelling in when they crashed into an abandoned vehicle. Clayton's Towing

Horror awakening for sleeping highway driver

A GYMPIE father who admitted falling asleep at the wheel, woke up too late to avoid a high impact crash with a stationary vehicle, Gympie Magistrates Court was told on Monday.

Police told the court officers had attended the scene at Kybong, just north of the Mary Valley Link Rd, at about 11.30pm on March 19.

They found two badly damaged vehicles, one of which had been abandoned without registration plates at the side of the highway.

They spoke to a driver who said he had hit the stationary vehicle at 110kmh, as he and his two children, aged 10 and 15, returned from Brisbane.

His car had rolled several times with the children inside, one of them suffering a broken collar bone.

The Hewitt family were lucky to survive after ploughing into an abandoned car on the Bruce Hwy. Pictured is the abandoned car after the crash.
The Hewitt family were lucky to survive after ploughing into an abandoned car on the Bruce Hwy. Pictured is the abandoned car after the crash. Clayton's Towing

Peter Scott Hewitt, 38, pleaded guilty in the court yesterday to driving without due care and attention.

Hewitt said he had driven his two children to Brisbane to go rock climbing and had experienced a micro-sleep on the way home.

He said his 15-year-old had "made it into the nationals of rock climbing and now cannot compete because of a broken collar bone."

Hewitt said he had taken a break on the return journey by stopping for dinner at a roadhouse on Brisbane's northern outskirts.

Magistrate M Baldwin told him it might have been better to stop at Forest Glen, which was generally regarded as half-way.

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She fined him $450, but said he would suffer worse from others. "I'll bet your kids are giving you curry," she said.

In another matter before the court, Dane Harry Tilling, 20, pleaded guilty to careless driving on April 11, when he crashed at Traveston on April 11.

The court was told Tilling had not seen the 60kmh sign and was doing 100kmh when his passenger shouted to warn him. He skidded through an intersection on the Mary Valley Link Rd, across an island and into an embankment.

Mrs Baldwin adjourned the case until July 10, indicating the penalty might depend on Tilling doing a Roadcraft driving course.

Gympie Times


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