A house at Kowanyama where a vehicle ploughed into mourners gathered for a funeral. PHOTO: Supplied.
A house at Kowanyama where a vehicle ploughed into mourners gathered for a funeral. PHOTO: Supplied.

Teen sues for $1.8 million over funeral crash

A teenage girl injured when a Cape York man smashed his car into a house filled with people mourning his dead wife is suing him for almost $1.8 million

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named as she is still a child, was 15 when Garry Paul Hudson drove through the Kowanyama house in October 2016 and ploughed into the lounge area that was filled with people mourning over his dead partner Katherine George's coffin.

The crash killed one woman and injured eight.

In a claim filed in the Cairns Supreme Court, a representative for the young girl from the Department of Child Safety said she was hit by both the Toyota LandCruiser and rubble from the building.

Exclusive first pictures of the house at Kowanyama where a vehicle ploughed in to mourners gathered for a funeral. PHOTO: Supplied.
Exclusive first pictures of the house at Kowanyama where a vehicle ploughed in to mourners gathered for a funeral. PHOTO: Supplied.

They claimed she suffered multiple injuries including knee damage, which required surgery and the insertion of a plate and screws.

The documents said the injury had ruined her future career plans.

"Prior to her injury, the plaintiff intended to join the Royal Australian Navy as a logistics officer after her graduation from high school," the documents said.

"The plaintiff has residual work capacity and will likely now work as a tour guide or flight attendant."

According to the documents, obtained by the Cairns Post, if the girl had entered the Navy and worked her way up to the rank of captain, she could potentially have earned $2.147 million during her career.

Gary Hudson (far left) drove his FWD into a house at Kowanyama while people were attending a funeral killing one person and critically injuring several others
Gary Hudson (far left) drove his FWD into a house at Kowanyama while people were attending a funeral killing one person and critically injuring several others

However, as a tour guide or flight attendant, her earnings could be about $1.45 million.

It was also claimed she would face further medical costs including physiotherapy, pain medication, psychology visits, doctor visits and travel costs.

Along with the serious knee injury, the department representative also claimed she suffered injuries to her shoulder, back and elbow along with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Hudson was jailed for 12 years over the crash, which killed Kowanyama woman Delanne Zingle and left eight others injured.

During his sentencing in the Cairns Supreme Court last year, a witness described pulling a young girl out of the rubble.

"The area was like a war zone, everyone was running around screaming," he wrote in a victim impact statement read in court.

"I worry about the impact this will have on future generations, as kids growing up shouldn't have to witness or hear about such a tragedy."

Mr Hudson's third party car insurer is also being sued as part of the claim.

Both parties are yet to file court documents.

A court date is yet to be set.



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