Mum's fury at sentence for drink driver who hit her son
"SHE nearly killed my son. If he hadn't been alert he'd be dead or disabled now. And she didn't even stop."
Imbil mum Kerri Saint yesterday expressed her outrage at the non-punishment handed out in Gympie Magistrates Court this week to a driver so drunk she did not even realise she had hit and just missed killing a teenage male off the side of Yabba Rd, Imbil, last month.
She had thought it was a kangaroo, the court was told.
Magistrate Maxine Baldwin placed Lorraine Merle Marschke, who also had a 2012 drink driving conviction, on 18 months probation with a two-year disqualification and an order to pay $500 compensation.
Marschke, 49, pleaded guilty to driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.301%, three times the limit.
"What sort of deterrent is that?" Ms Saint asked yesterday.
"What sort of message does it send to others who may think of drink driving?
"Quite some years ago, my girlfriend's daughter, 24 or 25, was walking along the side of the road and a serial drink driver in a truck hit her and killed her.
"He got three years jail, but in the three prior to that, he just kept on being let off. That resulted in him killing someone.
"This woman has now been caught twice. She's almost killed my son.
"What next before they do something?
"My son is alive because he got off the road and tried to leap out of the way; not because of anything she did.
"He was a mess. He was knocked unconscious and covered in blood and had to be taken to hospital in a neck brace.
"If he hadn't been alert and leapt out of the way, she'd have hit him directly and he'd be dead or disabled now.
"It was because he was paying attention he's still alive. It wasn't because she did anything right."
Ms Saint said she was not impressed by the woman's appeal for mercy on the basis of stress related to caring for her disabled husband.
"So what?" she said.
"Everyone knows my history (taken from her mother and forcibly adopted out to be treated as a slave and sexually and brutally abused from an early age) and I care for a disabled son.
"But I don't go out and get drunk and then drive my car.
"She showed complete recklessness and a disregard for others.
"Most people would stop even if they had just hit an animal, to see if it was alright.
"She was just worried she'd be caught.
"She didn't show any contrition.
"I'm just grateful that people saw it happen.
"If there hadn't been witnesses and he hadn't been able to do anything, he wouldn't have been found until morning."
Ms Saint said her son was suffering anxiety and was limping from aches and pains he didn't have previously.
"If he didn't jump when he did, if he hadn't been safety conscious, she'd have hit him straight on.
"He heard her coming and moved out of her way and saved himself from much worse injuries."
But Ms Saint's son Jacob Roy said he hoped the probation would include some help for the woman in managing alcohol.
"I hope she can totally stop drinking.
"I just don't want anyone else getting hit."