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Drink-driver lucky to be alive after motorbike crash

BRAIN damaged, a drink-driver is lucky to be alive after suffering serious injuries when his Harley-Davidson crashed off the road and into a carport and parked car at Tannum Sands.

The crash on Cremorne Dr just after midnight on July 4 last year left rider Benjamin Lowe recovering in a Brisbane hospital from multiple injuries.

His bike struck the carport pillars and Lowe was thrown 15m, landing unconscious in a neighbour's front yard.

Along with a brain injury Lowe received a broken right arm, broken right hip and leg, a broken left ankle, 16 cracked vertebra and shoulder injuries.

Gladstone Magistrates Court heard Lowe is lucky to be alive; the injured rider now has metal plates, screws and wires. Lowe, 35, pleaded guilty to drink-driving, and driving without due care and attention. He was fined $2000 and disqualified from driving for six months.

Prosecutor Snr Const Sam Pyke said residents of the house were woken by the noise and found a blue Harley lying under their badly damaged carport which had its front posts bent over at 90 degrees. The seriously injured rider was unconscious on the next door neighbours' lawn.

Snr Const Pyke said the crash happened on a sweeping bend in a 50km speed zone when the bike crossed over the centre line, crossed the north bound lane then mounted the kerb.

It then travelled over the footpath and into the yard of a house where it hit the garden bed, crossed through the yard then into another yard where it struck the carport and a Ford car. The impact snapped the front forks of the Harley and the roof of the carport was pulled down 2m.

Snr Const Pyke said the impact moved the parked Ford 75cm with the bike travelling more than 100m from where it first crossed the centre line.

Lowe, taken to Gladstone Hospital, did not have a blood sample taken until four hours after the crash which gave a reading of 0.076.

However, Snr Const Pyke said Lowe's reading at the time of the crash was likely to have been higher at 0.130.

"He suffers a brain injury and has no recollection of what happened," said defence lawyer Jun Pepito.

"He is not blaming anyone but himself." Mr Pepito said Lowe was unable to work as a carpenter and would take two years to recover.

Magistrate Mark Morrow said Lowe had brought potential danger to road users and others by his manner of driving. "He is very lucky to be alive. It is very concerning what happened. You nearly killed yourself. You caused a fair amount of property damage. Your driving left a lot to be desired and you have suffered a lot out of it."


Crash causes more than $20k in damage

THE homeowner, who did not want to be named, said the crash caused damages in excess of $20,000. However the expense was covered by insurance and included the rebuilding of the carport and repairs to his son's car. He said damage to the next-door neighbour's car cost another $4000.

On the night of the crash the man said his family was woken by the sound of a loud bang which had them running outside to investigate. At first he didn't see the injured man but rang emergency services. After seeing the wrecked motorbike he looked for the rider and found him lying injured on his neighbour's lawn. At the time he feared the rider wouldn't make it.

He said the rider had hit the neighbour's car and caused it to move about half a metre.

Topics:  alive, biker, gladstone, lucky



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