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Teen driver crashes after nodding off

DRIFTING into dreamland while at the wheel turned into a nightmare for Rockhampton's Jack Anthony Dakin.

After nodding off while driving to Gracemere, the teenager was suddenly jolted to his senses when his car rammed another vehicle.

Dakin, 19, couldn't remember a thing the next day, a Rockhampton court heard yesterday.

He woke thinking to himself "I think I was involved in a car crash".

Dakin pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court to driving without due care and attention and to failing to comply with duties of a driver involved in a crash and giving particulars to another driver.

Police Prosecutor Clancy Fox said at about 11.45pm on July 23, a 32-year-old woman pulled over on the side of the Old Capricorn Hwy because she had a flat tyre.

The court heard the woman was in her vehicle phoning for help when she noticed in her rear-view mirror, headlights travelling towards her car.

Dakin, the sole occupant of his car, smashed into her vehicle and rammed it a few metres along from where it had been parked.

Mr Fox said a very apologetic Dakin got out of his car and checked to see if the woman was okay.

"He said to her 'I'm not going to do a runner'," Mr Fox told the court.

But the court was told he did just that and continued on home, apparently oblivious to what had happened.

The court heard when Dakin woke up the next morning, he handed himself in to the police and told officers "I believe I was in a crash last night but I don't remember it".

Duty lawyer Jun Pepito said his client had nodded off at the wheel because of fatigue, a factor that Magistrate Cameron Press stressed could've proved deadly in Dakin's situation on that night.

The court did not hear what led to Dakin's fatigue.

He was disqualified from driving for three months and fined $800.

Topics:  car court crash driving gracemere



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