Driver drunk, texting when he caused horrific collision
A GREENMOUNT man had been texting on his mobile phone and drink-driving when his car crossed over to the wrong side of the road causing a head-on crash that left an Italian tourist seriously injured, a Toowoomba court has heard.
Blair Robert Stratford had recorded a blood/alcohol reading of 0.219 after the crash on the New England Highway near Greenmount on the evening of July 6, 2014, Toowoomba District Court heard.
Five people had been travelling in the other vehicle, including two European tourists who had been living with a family in Stanthorpe, Crown prosecutor Shontelle Petrie told the court.
The Italian woman had sustained facial and leg fractures and had permanent scarring from her wounds, she said.
"It was an horrific collision," Ms Petrie said.
Stratford pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while adversely affected by alcohol causing grievous bodily harm.
His barrister Steve Kissick told the court his client had only driven about 3km before the accident occurred.
His client was genuinely remorseful for his actions and was grateful no-one had been killed in the crash, he said.
Judge Deborah Richards sentenced Stratford to five years in jail, the term to be suspended after he has served 18 months, and disqualified him from driving for the next five years.