News

Drunk driver jailed over 16-year-old girl’s death

FEARFUL of getting caught, an intoxicated Errol John Miller sped away from police.

Less than five minutes later a 16-year-old girl was dead.

Passing motorists found the car on its roof on the side of Southern Access Rd near Woorabinda about 7pm on June 10, 2011.

The tragic crash rocked the small Aboriginal community, 170km south-west of Rockhampton.

None more so than the family of the young girl.

But amazingly, they hold no grudges.

During Miller's sentencing yesterday in the Rockhampton District Court, Crown prosecutor Susan Hedge submitted a victim impact statement from the girl's father.

The father said Miller was "like a son" to him and while the pain of losing a child was indescribable, he had forgiven Miller.

Miller, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death.

Ms Hedge said Miller's mate was initially driving the car when the young girl and her sister got in.

However, after the driver went home Miller got behind the wheel.

The court heard police attempted to intercept the vehicle for a random breath test, but Miller drove away.

Contrary to what Miller told a coronial inquest, a pursuit did not commence.

Police received a call out to the road minutes later.

Ms Hedge said Miller was hanging from his seat, held in by his seat belt.

The young girl, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, had been thrown from the car and crushed underneath it.

She died on scene.

The 17-year-old sister, who was in the back seat, and Miller suffered minor injuries.

Forensic investigators found Miller had drifted on to the wrong side of the road. When he tried to pull back, he lost control and the car rolled.

The court heard he was probably doing between 108 and 120kmh.

Ms Hedge said Miller recorded a blood alcohol content of 0.227% - more than four times the legal limit.

She said he had a lengthy criminal and traffic history, including two previous charges of dangerous driving.

Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said alcohol abuse was common in his client's family environment.

He said Miller considered the deceased like a sister and was extremely remorseful.

Miller was sentenced to seven years' jail and disqualified from driving for five years. He has already served 16 months and will be eligible for parole on February 11 next year.

Topics:  drink driving, fatality, rockhampton district court, woorabinda




Cardinal George Pell abuse allegations being investigated

Cardinal George Pell, right.

Cardinal Pell "emphatically and unequivocally" denied allegations

CQUniversity reveals major expansion plans

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Hilary Winchester

CQUniversity has found another place to call home and this time it's

Caves community call for Rossmoya Road upgrades

Caves Country Pub owner Jenny Thompson would like to see more community forums held by councils.

Roads and weed management were on the agenda

Latest deals and offers

The Bachelor: Vinteaea tells why she had to walk out

Vintaea Carlos was one of 22 "bachelorettes" looking for love on the fourth season of The Bachelor.

Queensland beauty leaves Richie at rose ceremony.

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is stalling divorce

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is delaying their divorce

Tackling depression through song and story

BUSKER: Brian Musch.

Giving back through song and speech

The Bachelor host: this year's season is a cracker

The Bachelor host Osher Gunsberg.

GUNSBERG says tonight will be "the best night of TV of the year".

Kerri-Anne Kennerley to Sonia Kruger: "Stay brave"

She said her television peer should "stay brave"

Swimwear designer looking for love on The Bachelor

Noni Janur on her first day of filming.

The 25-year-old is one of 22 women vying for Richie Strahan’s heart

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Iconic Denison St building sold for close to $1M

The Swan Hotel building in Denison St.

ONE of Rockhampton’s most iconic buildings has been sold

Unique Rockhampton bar hits the market

HOT PROPERTY: Cuban themed bar Chango Chango is up for sale.

Popular Rocky bar hits the market.

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd