RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter was deployed to fly a seriously injured man to Townsville Hospital after he was trapped in a car in a crash near Broken River on July 29, 2020. Photo: RACQ CQ Rescue
RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter was deployed to fly a seriously injured man to Townsville Hospital after he was trapped in a car in a crash near Broken River on July 29, 2020. Photo: RACQ CQ Rescue

Father of two critically injured in drug-driving crash

A Eungella garlic farmer who was critically injured when he crashed his car over an embankment at Broken River has learned his fate over the drug driving incident.

Multiple emergency crews were called to the July 29, 2020 crash where Joshua Allan Smith was injured and unconscious in his car.

Mackay Magistrates Court heard the vehicle had left Broken River Dam Road near a bend and crashed down an embankment landing in some trees about 250 metres from a nearby campsite.

Prosecutor Rob Beamish said the driver, Smith, was "unconscious and trapped in the driver's seat".

Joshua Allan Smith had amphetamines and methylamphetamines in his systems when he crashed his car near Broken River. Photo: RACQ CQ Rescue
Joshua Allan Smith had amphetamines and methylamphetamines in his systems when he crashed his car near Broken River. Photo: RACQ CQ Rescue

 

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The court heard there was heavy damage to all sides of the car, which came to a stop about 10 metres down the embankment.

Smith, a father of two, was non-responsive suffering multiple significant injuries.

Fire crews and paramedics, including critical care, struggled for about an hour to remove him from the vehicle.

He was then moved to the waiting RACQ CQ Rescue chopper and flown to Townsville Hospital.

Mr Beamish said checks revealed he had amphetamine and methylamphetamine in his system, as well as other pain relief medication.

Smith, 34, pleaded guilty to drug driving and failing to have proper control of a vehicle.

Multiple emergency crews were sent to the crash site at Broken River. Photo: RACQ CQ Rescue
Multiple emergency crews were sent to the crash site at Broken River. Photo: RACQ CQ Rescue

 

Defence solicitor Antoinette Morton, of Fisher Dore Lawyers, said it was an early plea.

Ms Morton said Smith had been a garlic farmer in the region for a number of years and in 2020 had produced his first viable crop, but was working up to 20 hours a day.

The court heard he had been told by someone that amphetamines would allow him to work longer.

"He does not use amphetamines generally," Ms Morton said.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer accepted that was the case.

Ms Morton told the court Smith had limitations in his ability to drive since the crash and was still working with his occupational therapist and neurologist.

RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter was deployed to fly a seriously injured man to Townsville Hospital after he was trapped in a car in a crash near Broken River.
RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter was deployed to fly a seriously injured man to Townsville Hospital after he was trapped in a car in a crash near Broken River.

 

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The court heard he would also need medical clearance before he could use the machinery at his farm - at the moment family and friends were helping him.

Ms Morton said Smith had an excellent work history and no prior entries for drug driving.

Smith was fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for three months.

Mr Dwyer said the usual disqualification period for this type of offence was five months, but that he had taken into account Smith's "extra-curial punishment" in relation to the crash and reduced the length.

Convictions were not recorded.



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