Drunk driver’s bad health diagnosis prior to crash

A High Range drink driver fled the scene after crashing into a power pole at Blackwater, despite downed power lines sparking around the vehicle.

Neil Stanley Clark, 59, recorded a BAC of 0.185 per cent the night he crashed, Blackwater Magistrates Court heard today.

He pleaded guilty to drink driving and failing to comply with duties of driver involved in a crash at Blackwater Magistrates Court on July 9.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Kevin Ongheen said police were called to a crash on Arthur St about 7.10pm on February 28.

He said witnesses told police a Ford Ranger ute turned on to the wrong side of the road, crossed the median strip, made it to the other side of the road when the vehicle mounted the gutter and crash head on into a power pole.

Sgt Ongheen said witnesses saw downed wires sparking around the vehicle before it reversed from the pole and drove off.

He said after police searched the vehicles registration details they attended Clark's home where they saw the Ford Ranger with significant damage to the bull bar and front panel.

Sgt Ongheen said Clark was sitting on the front porch with an opened can of rum and coke and denied being involved in a crash or driving, the court heard.

He returned a "significantly high reading" when police requested a breath test.

"Between the collision and being on the power lines (Clark) is lucky to be here," Sgt Ongheen said.

Defence lawyer Charles Lumsden said Clark, who was an operator at the mines, had been diagnosed the day of the incident with hepatitis C from a contaminated tattoo.

Mr Lumsden said Clark immediately took himself to the local pub and drank all day before driving himself home.

Magistrate Ron Muirhead said Clark's behaviour not only exposed himself but others to danger.

He was fined a total of $3000 and disqualified from driving for nine months. Traffic convictions were recorded.