Dad owes $36k after drunken smash with truck
A Coast father was almost four times over the alcohol limit when he crashed into a semi-trailer and smashed into concrete bollards on a Coast highway.
Terry David Atherton caused $36,000 in damage when he collided with a truck travelling in the southbound lanes on the Bruce Highway in Black Mountain on November 3, last year.
His $5000 car was written-off during the crash.
“A semi-trailer towing two trailers was in the left hand lane and a Mazda sedan being driven by … (Atherton) collided with the side of the rear trailer, causing his vehicle to spin out of control and collide with the truck trailers and centre concrete bollards,” police prosecutor Alison Johnstone said.
Sergeant Johnstone on Tuesday told Noosa Magistrates Court Atherton later recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.190.
Police spoke with the father of one on February 11.
“He said he had consumed about five glasses of bourbon and coke at a premises between 1pm and 6:30pm,” Sergeant Johnstone said.
Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin questioned who was at fault in the crash.
Defence lawyer Zachary Reinke said Atherton agreed the truck driver had not done anything wrong.
He said the 44-year-old had received a $36,000 repair quote from the truck company.
Atherton pleaded guilty to one count of driving under the influence.
The court heard a disqualification period would impact the self-employed builder and carpenter’s ability to earn a living.
“He is the sole source of income for his family with his partner’s income only covering the mortgage,” Mr Reinke said.
“He will be able to continue with his employment through his business however that will be limited to where another staff member is able to travel him to work … that’s going to have pretty significant effects on his ability to run his business.”
Mr Reinke said Atherton had no criminal history and a very minor traffic history.
He also said a conviction could impact the dad’s ability to hold a Queensland Building and Construction Commission licence.
Mr McLaughlin fined the “normally good driver” $500 and disqualified him from driving for 10 months.
He said he understood Atherton had lost a $5000 car and may pay $36,000 to the truck company and decided to reduce the fine from what could have been between $1000 to $1500.
“It’s an enormous financial burden you’re suffering so I’m going to reduce the fine significantly,” he said.
A conviction was recorded.