A Nowra man who caused a two-car crash at Primbee that left a woman trapped in her vehicle with serious injuries has told a court he fell asleep at the wheel from "exhaustion".
Timothy Parker, 33, said he had just finished working a 12-hour day in his spray painting job and was on his way home to his partner and three children when he lost control of his Toyota Starlet while travelling along Windang Road on the evening of August 22 last year.
Court documents said an off-duty police officer travelling in the opposite direction saw the Starlet enter a sweeping left-hand bend at an estimated speed of 120-130km/h in an 80km/h zone.
"As the vehicle entered the bend the front offside dipped towards the roadway as though under harsh braking, before the weight of the vehicle transferred to the offside as it travelled around the bend," an agreed statement of facts said.
"The tyres could be heard screeching loudly as the vehicle travelled around the bend."
The officer said the vehicle bounced off the eastern kerb and crossed three lanes of southbound traffic, ending upon the incorrect side of the road approximately 25 metres north of the intersection of Windang Road.
A black Holden swerved violently but was unable to avoid an offside collision. The impact sent the Starlet hurtling into the intersection where it collided front-on with a Daewoo Nubira.
A female passenger in the Daewood had to be cut from the wreckage. Both she and the male driver were taken to Wollongong Hospital.
He thought he was okay this day to drive the 100km home to Nowra - clearly he wasn'tDefence lawyer Ron Davis
The woman suffered serious injuries including fractures to her sternum, right ankle and left rib. She remained in hospital for almost a month and was bedridden for weeks while her injuries healed.
Parker was subsequently charged with dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, to which he pleaded guilty.
Defence lawyer Ron Davis told Port Kembla Local Court this week that Parker was the sole provider for his family and worked long hours to support them.
"He does physical work and says he was exhausted at the end of the day," he said.
"He thought he was okay this day to drive the 100km home to Nowra - clearly he wasn't and he nodded off."
Magistrate Michael Stoddart spared Parker jail time, instead sentencing him to a 12-month intensive corrections order, with 200 hours of community service work.
"You're a father, you've got three children - they are lucky they have a dad still," he said.
Parker also had his licence disqualified for five years.
The story: Driver 'asleep at the wheel' before peak-hour crash at Primbee first appeared on the Illawarra Mercury.