Emergency services at the Allan Cunningham Motel on Ruthven St where a car smashed into the building on October 11, 2018.
Emergency services at the Allan Cunningham Motel on Ruthven St where a car smashed into the building on October 11, 2018.

Man ‘cannoned’ into Toowoomba motel, caused $600k damage

A MAN who crashed his car into a Toowoomba motel and caused more than $600,000 in damage received a jail term earlier this year for his actions.

Christopher Mark Grosser pleaded guilty in Toowoomba District Court in March to dangerous operation of a vehicle, stemming from the crash on October 11, 2018.

Just after 3pm on that day, Grosser drove his vehicle along a suburban street that intersected with Ruthven Street.

As he drove to the T intersection in excess of the 50 km/h speed limit, he did not slow his vehicle or attempt to make any turn.

CCTV footage showed Grosser's vehicle speed through the intersection, travel across lanes of traffic and over a traffic island, and into a motel.

Grosser, aged 33 at the time, car collided with a vehicle owned by the motel's owner, and "cannoned" into the building.

"It is only by good luck that your vehicle avoided collision with any vehicle on Ruthven Street," Judge Dennis Lynch told the court.

The crash completely destroyed the office area of the motel.

In sentencing, Judge Lynch also said it was "pure luck" Grosser did not seriously injure or kill anyone in the building.

Documents showed the total overall damage to the business was $640,000, $340,000 of which had been paid for through insurance at the time of sentencing.

"In addition, there has been a significant impact upon the ability of that business to trade and, beyond that, there has been a significant psychological impact on the owners of that business," Judge Lynch said.

Grosser, who was aged 34 at sentencing, was seriously injured in crash, fracturing his neck in two places.

"No explanation has been given to me as to why you drove your vehicle in that way," he said.

"This cannot be regarded as any momentary inattention or brief period upon which you failed to take care in the management of your vehicle."

The court heard Grosser was diagnosed with a medical condition in 2010, that might cause him to fall asleep without warning, but he was medicated for this condition at the time.

Judge Lynch said he was not satisfied Grosser engaged in deliberate dangerous driving, but his period of inattention and manner of driving should be "regarded seriously".

Grosser was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, and was released on parole on March 11, the day of his sentence.

He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for two years from that date.