Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court generic Townsville
Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court generic Townsville

High speed crash driver says he fell asleep at wheel

IT'S been more than a year since Steve Earnest Reynolds, 24 crashed his brother's car on Lakes Creek Rd doing 130kmh.

This week he faced court charged with driving without due care and attention and unlicensed driving.

Reynolds pleaded guilty to the charges and though he disputed a witness account who said he had been drinking at the time of the crash.

The court heard police had attended the single vehicle crash at 3am on October 1, last year. They arrived to find a sedan with extensive damage, the driver's door open with the keys on top of the car.

A fallen power pole in half, live wires and a street sign were strewn across the road.

They found blood on the passenger air bag and the speedometer stuck on 130kmh.

There were multiple witnesses to the crash with one saying he was walking home when he heard a loud bang and saw the crash.

He ran over to the car, undid the seatbelt and helped the male driver out of the car.

He said he was bleeding but became startled when he heard police sirens and ran.

Police took trace DNA from the steering wheel and from blood and checks revealed the car belonged to Bert Smith, Reynold's brother.

The following day Mr Smith told police the car had been stolen, but later admitted to lying to cover for his brother.

A positive blood swab matched Reynolds who was taken to Capricornia Correction Centre but declined to be interviewed.

Reynolds traffic and criminal history was tendered and showed he was on a suspended sentence at the time.

Reynolds accepted the facts of the case but said he had fallen asleep at the wheel, with his foot on the accelerator, as a result of taking Tamazepam for sleeping problems.

He said one witness was his ex-girlfriend and he had been at her house that night but was not drinking and was not returning from the Kalka Hotel with alcohol as she claimed.

Magistrate Cameron Press accepted on the balance of probability that Reynolds may well have fallen asleep.

"You are lucky sir and fortunate you haven't injured someone else or you would definitely have been facing a term of imprisonment ... it's time you started to sort yourself out," he said.

Reynolds was sentenced to four months in prison, immediately suspended, fined $600 and disqualified from driving for nine months.