Pot-smoking, distracted driver fined $900 for head-on crash
A MOMENT'S inattention on the road has cost a Kallangur man $900 and his licence - but it could have been worse.
Appearing in Toogoolawah Magistrates Court, Kallangur retiree Kenneth James Franks, 62, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and drug driving.
Police alleged Franks was driving south on the Brisbane Valley Highway at Esk on July 19, when he was involved in a two-vehicle head on crash about 2pm.
Franks told police, who arrived at the scene, he had dropped his lighter into the footwall of the car and looked down to retrieve it.
He said by the time he looked up he had drifted into oncoming traffic.
One car was able to avoid Franks, but a second being driven by a father with his four- and seven-year-old sons in the car, was unable to.
Both vehicles sustained heavy damage and the eldest child suffered an injury to his shoulder and left foot.
Franks accepted responsibility for the crash and said to police he smoked marijuana earlier in the day.
Anthony Kingston represented Franks in court and described the accident as a "momentary inattention", for which his client had shown great remorse.
In relation to the drug use, he submitted to the court medical records which showed Franks had received a heart transplant several years ago.
Complications from the surgery had left Franks requiring a large number of medications to control the pain.
"It's basically a pharmacopoeia of drugs that he was on. In order to deal with the pain rather than becoming addicted to those drugs, he uses marijuana," Mr Kingston said.
He added Franks was discussing with his GP to possibility of accessing medicinal cannabis.
Franks was fined a total of $900, referred to SPER, and disqualified from driving for two months.
Both convictions were recorded.