A learner driver has been fined $750 after this crash on Haddock Drive, Burua.
A learner driver has been fined $750 after this crash on Haddock Drive, Burua. Campbell Gellie

Learner driver crashed car after fight with girlfriend

TAKING himself for a drive to cool down after arguing with his girlfriend proved a bad move for learner-driver Ian Ruddell, who lost control on a bend, with his car ending on its roof down an embankment.

With the car wrecked and lost, the 24-year-old told Gladstone Magistrates Court he still owed $16,000 on it.

Ruddell pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention along Haddock Drive at 12.50pm on June 30, being a learner driver who drove when not accompanied by a licensed driver, and not displaying L-plates.

Prosecutor Snr Const Sam Pyke said police came across Ruddell walking toward Kirkwood Rd, and he accompanied officers back to the crash scene.

He said the learner was driving at excessive speed when his car skidded on a corner, causing it to spin around before going over an embankment where it landed on its roof.

Snr Const Pyke said Ruddell told police he had argued with his girlfriend and went for a drive to cool down, but he had not checked his speed when he lost it on the corner.

Duty lawyer Jun Pepito said Ruddell would have to pay off the $16,000 owing on the car for another three years, which was extra punishment he had to endure.

Magistrate Jeffrey Clarke told Ruddell he was lucky to be here today.

"When you have an emotional outburst the worst thing in the world is to get behind the wheel of a car," Mr Clarke said.

With regard to driving unaccompanied, Mr Clarke told Ruddell that road rules were there for safety and he could not just go out and do what he wanted.

Ruddell was fined $750, with Mr Clarke telling him he would not disqualify him from driving because it might risk the job he needed to pay off the $16,000.



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