M1 traffic
M1 traffic

Gardener reaches for cop’s gun after M1 crash

A GARDENER who sent three people to hospital after causing a high-speed crash on the M1 and then wrestled a police officer for her gun will be released from prison in nine months.

Ronald James Langham left a trail of destruction when he got behind the wheel while high on the drug ice about 8pm on January 11 last year, the Southport District Court was told.

Judge David Kent said: "Struggling with a police officer over a firearm after a traffic accident on a major highway is almost the quintessential example of danger to public safety.

"One couldn't think of something more dangerous to public safety short of a nuclear device."

Langham pleaded guilty on Thursday to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and serious assault of a police officer.

Judge Kent sentenced him to thee years prison to be suspended after nine months.

The 45-year-old will be on probation for two years and three months when released and banned from driving for two years. He must also perform 80 hours community service.

Crown prosecutor Jessica Guy told the court the senior constable involved in the incident was off work for months due to severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ms Guy told the court Langham was spotted driving south on the M1 near the Smith St exit. He was travelling well above the speed limit.

When he reached roadworks at Mudgeeraba, he did not slow down and crashed into two cars, writing them both off.

Three people in those cars, including a 10-month-old baby, were taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Ms Guy said Langham fled, running across the M1 to reach the northbound lanes where he tried to push a motorcyclist stopped in traffic off his bike.

The bike was parked in front of a police car. The uniformed officer got out and tried to get Langham to calm down.

Instead, Langham began to wrestle her and reached for her firearm.

Two members of the public intervened and were able to help the senior constable wrestle Langham to the ground.

The officer was left with a cut to her wrist, bruises and had to undergo disease testing as she got some of Langham's blood on her.

Ms Guy said Langham was also taken to hospital and tests found he had the drug ice and a sedative in his system.

Defence solicitor Dante Sushames said Langham did not remember the crash.

"His motive only would have been to take his own life (when grabbing for the gun)," he said.

"He lost control, it's as simple as that.

"He tried to flee and I think taking the gun was a desperate act to end it all."

Mr Sushames said Langham had undertaken rehabilitation and now worked as a gardener.

Originally published as Gardener reaches for cop's gun after M1 crash