Car chase teenager gets jail
A TEENAGE P-plate driver has been jailed for 15 months after trying to escape Tweed/Byron police in a pursuit.
Vaughan Cumming, 19, of Murwillumbah, crashed his Commodore at high speed into a Toyota Camry on the Kyogle Road near Bray Park.
The Camry driver, Leanne Burns, received life-threatening injuries and was trapped unconscious inside the wreckage before being taken to Tweed Heads Hospital.
Despite pleas from his two mates to ‘stop’ and ‘pull over’, Cumming continued overtaking cars and reaching a speed of 120km/h in the 80km/h zone before the crash.
Cumming, 19, of Murwillumbah, had only held his red provisional licence three weeks before his dangerous driving antics.
His licence had been previously suspended when he was caught driving after drinking alcohol.
Cumming pleaded guilty in the Lismore District Court to aggravated dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm to Ms Burns while escaping police pursuit at 6pm on August 13 last year.
Judge Roy McLoughlin sentenced Cumming to 2½ years’ jail and set a non-parole of 15 months, making the teen eligible for release in late September next year.
Cumming will serve the remaining 15 months of his sentence under the supervision of Probation Services.
His defence said that Cumming had cannabis and alcohol issues and was known to suffer depression.
“I was just real nervous, like my heart started beating and beating, and I couldn’t pull over if I wanted too,” he told police.
“And I just didn’t want to lose my licence. I don’t know why I didn’t stop.”
His licence was disqualified for four years to August 2013.