Zoe Maree Hatch was distracted by her mobile phone when she crashed into an oncoming car while driving.
Zoe Maree Hatch was distracted by her mobile phone when she crashed into an oncoming car while driving.

’How big’s your excuse bag?’ Crash mum cops blast

A PREGNANT mum-of-two was distracted by her mobile phone when she crashed into an oncoming car while driving.

Zoe Maree Hatch, 27, was driving around a bend on Memorial Drive at Eumundi on November 3 when she drifted out of her lane.

Police prosecutor Melissa Campbell told a court that a witness and the driver of the other car believed Hatch, from Maroochydore, was looking down at her phone at the time.

"They stated the defendant, due to not watching the road, has driven onto the wrong side of the road," Senior Constable Campbell said.

The driver of the second vehicle moved as far left as they could to avoid a collision.

"Due to a retaining brick wall they couldn't go any further off the road and the defendant's hire vehicle has then crashed into the other vehicle, forcing him into the brick retaining wall," Sen-Const Campbell said.

Hatch told police at the scene that she was disqualified from driving and may have been looking down at her handbag as her phone was "going off".

At Noosa Magistrates Court today Hatch pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and driving while disqualified by a court order.

She told Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist that she was driving a car her friend had rented and now owed "a lot of money" to the rental company.

She said she wasn't looking at her phone but instead reaching for a water bottle.

"How big is your excuse bag?" Mr Stjernqvist said.

"You've got an excuse for every single offence and they're going to have to run out at some stage.

"Most of what you say, I don't place a lot of weight on- you've committed a lot of fraud offences.

"There's significant doses of dishonesty in your criminal history that's why I don't place weight on it."

Hatch was fined $700 for driving without due care and given a six-month prison sentence for disqualified driving, suspended for 18 months.

She was disqualified from driving for three years.

The convictions were recorded.


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