DODGED: A drunken, disqualified driver has avoided jail time after he caused a truck to crash at Helidon Spa in March.
DODGED: A drunken, disqualified driver has avoided jail time after he caused a truck to crash at Helidon Spa in March.

Truckie notes ‘erratic’ driver’s plates moments before crash

A TRUCKIE was so disturbed by the way a nearby Camry was driving that he memorised the number plates and made a mental note to report the vehicle to police.

But moments later, the truck had crashed, toppling onto its side on the Warrego Highway, when the Camry tried to overtake it.

Gatton Magistrates Court heard the Camry driver, Ngor Garang, 27, had no license and was drunk at the time of the crash.

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Police prosecutor Sergeant Alister Windsor said it was 3.25am when the truck driver saw Garang's car in the rear-vision mirror on March 7, 2020.

"To his recollection, (the truck driver) believed the vehicle was approaching from behind at speed and was driving in an erratic manner," Sgt Windsor said.

"The registration plates of the vehicle were noted by the driver."

The court heard Garang had attempted to overtake the truck.

"A collision has occurred, causing the truck to lose control and roll onto its side."

The truck driver suffered "severe bruising" and was hospitalised for his injuries.

Instead of stopping at the crash at Helidon Spa, Garang continued driving and was later found by police in the back seat of the car.

"He continued travelling eastbound along the Warrego Hwy," Sgt Windsor said.

"(Police found him) in the back seat and a passenger in the front passenger seat in the front of the vehicle."

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When questioned, Garang denied driving - as did his passenger.

Presented with a lengthy criminal history, the court heard Garang's license had been disqualified by court order for two years on May 21, 2018.

"There is a previous conviction in the Ipswich Magistrates Court in 2018 for dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while adversely affected by a substance, for which he received the disqualification of two years," Sgt Windsor said.

"He was also sentenced to 12 months imprisonment - he actually served two months of that sentence."

Garang also tested positive to alcohol and tests revealed his blood alcohol concentration had been 0.232 - nearly five times above the legal limit for drivers holding an open license.

Sgt Windsor told Magistrate Graham Lee the truck driver sought restitution to cover the damage caused to the truck, which amounted to more than $35,000.

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Facing four charges, Garang pleaded guilty to driving under the influence, driving without due care and attention, failing to immediately stop at an incident, and driving while disqualified by court order.

Duty lawyer James Ryan told Mr Lee that Garang claimed it was the first time he had driven since he was disqualified in 2018.

"He is remorseful," Mr Ryan said.

"In the interest of the restitution component, consider in the sentencing that he is able to continue working."

Mr Lee told Garang the maximum penalty for disqualified driving was 18 months imprisonment, failing to stop carried a maximum penalty of a year imprisonment and the maximum penalty for driving without due attention was six months imprisonment.

"I must give serious consideration to you paying restitution and sentencing imprisonment is a last resort but I think we've reached that point here," Mr Lee said.

"You had a similar matter in 2018 and it's lucky you or the driver of the vehicle weren't seriously injured."

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Garang was ordered to pay restitution of $35,990.37.

For the drive without due care, Garang was sentenced to three months imprisonment and for failing to stop, he was sentenced to three months imprisonment for three months and disqualified from driving for six months.

For driving while disqualified by court order, he was sentenced to nine months imprisonment and disqualified from holding a license for a further 30 months.

For driving under the influence, he was sentenced to six months imprisonment and disqualified from holding a licence for 21 months.

Mr Lee ordered the terms of imprisonment to be served concurrently and Garang was granted immediate parole release.

A conviction was recorded.

Read more stories by Ebony Graveur.