Man overdoses behind wheel

A KANDANGA man who had an accident on the Sunshine Coast after overdosing on powerful pain medication appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court on Monday.

Christopher John Ward, 65, faced charges of drug driving, misuse of a controlled drug, failure to dispose of a needle and syringe and possession of a utensil.

Magistrate Maxine Baldwin heard that on October 30, at 3.50pm Maroochydore police responded to a traffic accident and, on arrival, observed a damaged utility and a Mitsubishi.

Ward, the driver of the utility, was asked to provide a sample of breath for analysis and returned a zero reading for alcohol.

Police noticed Ward appeared erratic in his behaviour, was struggling to maintain concentration and was unsteady on his feet.

A witness at the scene saw and reported to police a syringe on the ground near the accident scene.

A subsequent search of the utility revealed two metal spoons, a syringe, one uncapped syringe, a leather strap, two boxes of oxydone 40mg and two boxes of oxydone 80mg. The property was seized by police and a field receipt issued.

The court heard Ward had taken all his medication both orally and intravenously.

Ward was unrepresented in court and said the accident was the result of losing his glasses while driving and bending down to picking them up.

He said the medication was used to treat pain arising from a 20-year battle with leukaemia.

Ward pleaded guilty to the charges and was suspended from driving for nine months.

He was also placed on nine months probation and Magistrate Baldwin ordered a conviction recorded.

Gympie Times


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