Nowra man jailed for 18-months on serious driving charge

A Nowra man whose front seat passenger suffered serious head injuries in an accident at Basin View last June has been jailed for 18-months

Geoffrey Albert Edward Abel, 26, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm in Nowra District Court on Thursday, April 13.

Court papers said Abel was driving a red Holden Commodore that crashed and rolled in an accident near the intersection with the Wool Road at Basin View around 9.20pm on June 18.

Police had earlier recorded the vehicle travelling more than the legal speed limit just north of the intersection of Turpentine Road and the Princes Highway and despite attempts to catch the vehicle were unable to do so.

Court papers said the vehicle Abel was driving was clocked at 145km/hr in a 100 zone.

Officers had to wait for traffic on the highway before being able to perform a u-turn to pursue the vehicle and despite reaching speeds of 180km/hr were unable to catch him.

Officers found the vehicle about 3.8 kilometres from where it had first been spotted, crashed with extensive damage to offside of the vehicle and the roof.

Abel and a female backseat passenger were uninjured in the accident, however a front-seat passenger, a 33-year-old man, was slumped forward and was bleeding from the head.

He suffered serious head injuries and was airlifted to St George Hospital.

The man had to be placed in an induced coma for six days after suffering an intercranial bleed, brain contusions and a fractured skull.

He was in hospital for a further three weeks and suffered post traumatic amnesia for 32 days. He now has signs of cognitive and behavioural changes and requires ongoing support.

Crash Investigation Unit evidence said tyre marks started 120 metres north of the Wool Road, and indicated the vehicle had slid sideways for 78 metres. The car then entered a drain and had rolled.

At the time of the accident  the road was wet and it was sprinkling with rain.

The vehicle was also found to have defective tyres.

Judge Ian McClintock sentenced Abel to 18-months’ jail from October 19 last year with a non-parole period of 10 months. He also disqualified him from driving for three years.