AG wants jail for drugged truckie who almost killed woman
"I'M going to jail. I'm going to jail".
This is what drug-using truck-driver Marc Antony Palmer cried after he lost control of his prime mover on the Bruce Highway in North Queensland.
Palmer had used methamphetamine and amphetamine before the crash but was given a suspended sentence.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath appealed the sentence on the grounds it was manifestly inadequate.
The Queensland Court of Appeal did not agree with the AG's application for a tougher sentence and released its reasons for dismissing the appeal on Thursday.
A witness to the crash that severely injured a driver in another vehicle, described the truck's trailer as "going flat sideways down the highway across both lanes" in an 80km roadwork zone between Midgeroo Rd and Tully Mission Rd.
The injured woman was taken to Tully Hospital where she was found to have severe brain injuries as well as a collapsed lung, broken nose and bruising and lacerations.
Surgeons had to remove part of her skull to save her life and she had post-traumatic amnesia for 48 days after the accident.
She continues to endure PTSD as a result of the accident, which also had a huge impact on her business and her studies.
Palmer was charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm.
Blood tests revealed the 34-year-old had .02 milligrams per kilogram of amphetamine and .2 milligrams per kilogram of methylamphetamine in his blood at the time of the accident on September 23, 2016.
During his trial in Cairns District Court last October, the road worker who was first on the scene described the defendant saying he was going to jail.
Palmer also said he had "zoned out" and when he "snapped back to it" he slammed on the brakes.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in jail, immediately suspended for three years.
"Sure, [the driving] was dangerous and sure, it caused grievous bodily harm and has impacted another person's life, but you work hard - it is a professional driver like you that we need on the roads, not off," the sentencing judge said at the time.
"There was a period in your life that you succumbed to drugs often associated with that job.
"You have successfully worked through significant issues to remain clean of the drug, and you were assessed and I accept that you are a low risk of relapsing in that regard."
The appeal was dismissed due to the delay between when the appeal was launched and when it was heard, despite the the Attorney General demonstrating the original sentence was inadequate.. - NewsRegional