Ute crashes into river while looking for a crocodile
A MAN who drove his vehicle into a tree and rolled it into the Proserpine River at the Landing has been fined $1000 but allowed to keep his driver's licence.
Cameron Thomas Machar, 44, of Airlie Beach, pleaded guilty in Proserpine Magistrates Court yesterday to a charge of driving without due care and attention.
Prosecutor Robert Beamish told the court Machar drove into a tree and rolled his ute down the bank into the Proserpine River at the Landing at the end of Glen Isla Rd at 5.18am on November 7.
The court heard Machar rang emergency services to say he and a passenger could not get out of the ute, but when emergency services arrived they had left the scene.
Police found 40m skid marks from the road into the tree that Mr Beamish said were "consistent with excessive speed".
Burnout marks were also found on the road, Mr Beamish said.
The court was told the men walked through the scrub after the accident.
When police found Machar on Main St, Proserpine at 9am he was unsteady on his feet and recorded a blood alcohol content reading of 0.128, Mr Beamish said.
Machar initially told police he was not driving the vehicle, but a bruise on his shoulder was consistent with the seatbelt of a person in the driver's seat, Mr Beamish said.
The other man in the ute told police Machar had been driving and had taken him to the Landing to "show him something".
Machar's solicitor Rosemary Varley said her client had met his passenger - a tourist - that evening and had driven to the Landing to "show him a crocodile".
Ms Varley also argued Machar did not have anything of this nature in his court history.
She also told magistrate Ron Muirhead that Machar had since completed a defensive driving course.
In fining Machar, Mr Muirhead said excessive speed and alcohol obviously played a part in the incident.
"You were travelling at excessive speed and lost control and hit a tree," he said.
Mr Muirhead did not disqualify Machar's driver's licence as he had done the driving course.
"If you hadn't done the course it would likely have been five months (disqualification)," he said.