Wait for driver on negligent charge

WODONGA man Nicholas Alexander Keith was driving a Suzuki four-wheel drive when it overturned near Gerogery in October last year and one of his passengers was seriously injured with a broken cheek bone.

Keith, 22, faces sentencing in Albury Local Court in July after magistrate Tony Murray decided to get a pre-sentence report along with an updated medical assessment on the injured man.

Police originally charged Keith with two counts of negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm and driving while his licence was suspended.

But police prosecutor Sgt Shannon Lewis withdrew one of the negligent driving charges.

The court was told Keith drove a Suzuki Vitara along Winchester Lane about 12.10am on October 5 with four passengers.

They were about 600 metres north of Gerogery Road when Keith lost control and the vehicle fishtailed several times.

The wheels struck a washed out drainage rut and the vehicle overturned.

One passenger was trapped for a short time before being released by the others.

He had suffered facial injuries and was bleeding heavily.

Keith rang his mother for help and another passenger made a triple-0 phone call to the ambulance service, but had trouble explaining their remote location so police were advised.

The four passengers were put in Keith’s mother’s vehicle and she met an ambulance on Georgery Road near the Norske Skog mill.

The passengers were assessed with three transported to hospital by ambulance and another receiving treatment for cuts to his knuckles.

When police arrived, Keith’s mother claimed the accident happened on their private property at Gerogery West.

Officers said they would have to visit the site and she admitted the accident happened on a road just a short distance away.

Attempts were made to contact her son who had stayed with the vehicle, but he could not be located.

Additional police arrived to patrol surrounding roads and photographs were taken of the vehicle which contained full and empty alcohol containers.

One of the passengers received a fractured collarbone and broken right cheek bone.

A check by police revealed Keith’s licence had been suspended at the time for excessive demerit points.

A blood sample taken eight hours after the accident gave a zero blood alcohol reading.