A driver who slid sideways off a road at 70km/h, hitting two trees before coming to a stop, has blamed his Staffordshire bull terrier puppy for jumping on him as he tried to change gears.
Robert Jordan was driving in Tallangatta on the afternoon of May 18 last year when he crashed his black Holden Commodore, writing the car off completely.
He appeared in Wodonga Magistrates Court this week to plead guilty to charges including careless driving and failing to report a crash to police.
Police discovered the car abandoned and damaged with its hazard lights on, later finding out Jordan had left without reporting the crash despite having caused damage to council-owned signage.
Mobile phone records showed he made one unanswered call to the police station.
“The dog got in the way when I was trying to shift from sixth to fifth gear,” he later told officers.
Solicitor Mario Vaccaro said Jordan, who held a Queensland licence despite having moved to Victoria, was shaken up by the crash and had drank alcohol afterwards to deal with his anxiety.
Magistrate Peter Dunn fined him $1500.
“He’s lucky he didn’t kill himself or someone else,” he said.
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