Driving on the road
Driving on the road

Learner driver’s ‘breathtakingly dangerous’ highway chase

A LEARNER driver who erratically drove 6km the wrong way up the Pacific Highway while almost running other vehicles off the road has been sentenced.

Dylan Harvey Voight, 23, was convicted in the Lismore District Court on Wednesday to using an offensive weapon to avoid arrest and predatory driving during a police pursuit, where he failed to stop.

Voight, on June 11, 2019, had fled from police in Ewingsdale while driving an 11-tonne flat-bed truck, and in order to avoid police drove the vehicle northbound in the southbound lane of the Pacific Highway.

He drove erratically for 6km in the wrong direction forcing a number of vehicles off the road and narrowly avoiding petrol tankers and other vehicles travelling south.

When police found him again near Brunswick Heads, Voight drove at full speed towards a police blockade forcing officers to jump out of the way, the court heard.

He was later arrested in Ocean Shores the same day after police used search dogs to locate him in dense bushland.

Judge Jeffery McLennan said while delivering his judgment what he had seen in the vision played to the court was "breathtakingly dangerous".

"The potential to serious injury to life and property is very obvious," he said.

Judge McLennan said Voight had shown genuine remorse for his actions, after having worked on his methylamphetamine addiction since taken into custody.

"Prison it seems has helped break the cycle of addiction and given (him) real insight into the dangerous conduct he (carried out)," Judge McLennan said.

"He is generously remorseful; he has good prospects of rehab and I consider he is unlikely to reoffend in this particular way in the future."

Voight was sentenced to an aggregated four years imprisonment and will be eligible for parole in June 2021.

He will also be disqualified from driving for three years, and Judge McLennan encouraged him to take up "cycling" in order to continue his mechanics apprenticeship once released from jail.