Coast Teen’s Joyride To Tragedy

Leah Fineran   |  June 17th, 2010 | Gold Coast News

A P-PLATER driving a car jammed with eight intoxicated teenagers almost killed his friends when the car overturned at Pacific Pines.

Passenger Mark Bates were hanging out of the window when the Holden Jackaroo flipped and was trapped between the car and the road as the vehicle slid 15 metres.

Against doctors’ expectations, the 17-year-old woke from his coma but today lives with brain damage and ongoing trauma.

Yesterday 19-year-old driver Jake Davis escaped jail but was sentenced in Southport Magistrates Court to 12 months probation and 150 hours community service for driving without due care and attention.

He was banned from driving for two years and convicted but not further punished for three additional charges of driving without P-plates, driving a car with protruding body parts and disobeying provisional licence regulations.

Under the regulations, P-platers are allowed to carry only one passenger under the age of 21 when driving after 11pm and before 5am.

The court was told Davis had nine people in the eight-seater car on the night of September 13 last year.

Senior Constable Murdoch Clarke told the court police calculated the Jackaroo was doing 38km/h when it made a sharp turn on the roundabout intersecting Bowley Street and Brockman Way at 12.16am.

Solicitor Paul Hamilton for Davis said his client had been traumatised by the accident and received psychological counselling over the injuries caused to his friend.

“It’s been a huge wake-up call for him,” he said.

Outside court Mr Bates’ mother Angela Whittle said the accident had destroyed her son’s life.

“Now he is a totally different person and his dreams for the future have been dashed,” she said.

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