Stop sign smash driver's 'world of difficulty'
A YOUNG woman disqualified from driving sped through a stop sign and crashed into another car because she had little experience driving a manual car and did not believe she could get it moving again after coming to a halt.
Chloe Shelly Baker, 20, of Collingwood Park pleaded guilty to two charges, including dangerous operation of a vehicle, in the Ipswich Magistrates Court.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Dave Shelton said at about 1.40pm on June 6, police attended the scene of a two-vehicle crash at Eastern Heights.
Police spoke to the driver of a Mazda, identified as Baker, who said she had borrowed the vehicle from a friend.
The court heard she had very little experience driving a manual transmission and decided to drive straight through a stop sign at the intersection of Whitehill and Robertson roads as she was afraid she would not be able to get the car going again.
She was going at about 50 or 60km/h through the intersection and hit another car.
Baker, who was going to get food with friends, would have been free to drive a week after the incident when her disqualification ran out.
Her duty lawyer told the court she had made arrangements to pay back the other driver for damages of about $100 a week and was remorseful for her actions.
Magistrate Donna MacCallum told Baker she had put herself in a "world of difficulty" by choosing to get behind the wheel and the situation she found herself in could have been much worse if someone had been killed or seriously injured.
"You could have ended up in jail," she said.
"You've taken a big risk."
Taking into account her age and limited traffic history, Mrs MacCallum placed Baker on a 12 month probation order and imposed a further two year driving disqualification.
She warned her if she chose to drive again, a jail sentence would likely be hanging over her head.
The QT reported last month the impact of the crash on the driver, who did not want to be identified, and 82-year-old passenger Betty Schneider.
The collision sent the innocent party airborne with the car's side air bags activating.
Ms Schneider said witnesses to the crash were amazed both were still alive.
She suffered severe bruising and was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital for observation.
Her friend, 50, was taken to Ipswich Hospital for observation.
A teenager in Baker's car was taken to Ipswich Hospital with a minor leg injury.
"This is happening too often," Ms Schneider said last month.
"We the innocent ones suffer physically for months and mentally forever."