‘I was lucky’: Hit-run victim, 81, thrown over bonnet
A callous criminal ploughed into an elderly female pedestrian on a Brisbane inner city street and then drove off, leaving her lying injured on the road, a court has heard.
Tumua Zachary Setefano even got out of his car, saw 81-year-old Beryl Ranson lying on the road, then reversed and drove around her, before taking off, a Brisbane court heard.
Ms Ranson, who was thrown onto and over the bonnet of the Chrysler sedan, before ending up on the road, had a broken tibia in her right leg.
Witnesses to the hit-and-run in Elizabeth St, Brisbane, on August 29, last year, rushed to help Ms Ranson, police were called and Setefano was followed to a car park.
"He just barged into me and I ended up on the bonnet," Ms Ranson said yesterday.
"I was very lucky. If he had driven over me, I wouldn't be here to tell the tale. I could have been brain injured."
Ms Ranson had been halfway across the inner-city street, walking to her booked Uber, carrying groceries, when she was hit.
She says before the pain set in she was in shock, but she also remembers feeling "so angry" towards the driver.
When police caught up with Setefano they found a loaded bolt action rifle and cartridges in the car, and he declared another loaded firearm where he was staying.
The Brisbane magistrate who sentenced him last Tuesday said that might explain why he took off.
Police also found drugs and needles hidden in his underwear, Brisbane Magistrates Court heard.
"It made a big impact on my life and on my family's life. I even had to put my dog Bella into care," Ms Ranson said of the incident.
She spent three weeks in hospital and rehabilitation and her daughter came from Sydney, taking a month off work to look after her.
"I've got arthritis. I'd had a hip replacement, but this was the first break I'd had in 81 years," Ms Ranson said.
For a long time she was not able to put weight on her foot and she still has to do daily exercises, but says she is now mostly recovered and happy to be able to walk her dog.
Setefano, 24, who is currently in jail, serving a six-year sentence for drug offences, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to failing to remain at the accident scene and render assistance.
It was noted that, despite hitting Ms Ranson, he was not charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle.
"You had a collision with an elderly woman who obviously hit your bonnet," the magistrate said.
"You knew she did, because you drove around her."
Setefano was sentenced to two months' jail for failing to remain at the accident scene, to be served concurrently with his six-year sentence.
The prosecutor had asked for a concurrent 12 months' jail sentence.
The magistrate said Setefano, who had a previous conviction for failing to stop at an accident scene, had an extremely serious criminal history for someone so young.
It included convictions for armed robbery, burglary and drug offences.
Setefano, who was educated at Marist College, Ashgrove, to year 10 and a Sandgate high school, has spent most of his adult life in prison.
He also pleaded guilty on Tuesday to unlawful use of a motor vehicle, stealing vehicle plates, drug offences and weapons charges, for which he was sentenced to two years' jail, concurrent with his present sentence.
The court heard Setefano will be eligible for parole in May, 2022.
Originally published as 'I was lucky': Hit-run victim, 81, thrown over bonnet