MANY HOURS: Jesse Potts, of Alstonville, leaves Ballina Courthouse after admitting to reckless driving.
MANY HOURS: Jesse Potts, of Alstonville, leaves Ballina Courthouse after admitting to reckless driving.

Driver 'fortunate no-one killed'

JESSE Potts was burning off some of his male testosterone and bits of black rubber with a burnout and a fishtail, when he crunched his Commodore into a gutter at Alstonville, ripping off a wheel that landed 16m away from the point of impact.

When asked to explain, Potts, 21, of Teven Road, told Senior Constable Simone Leonard at the scene: ‘It’s late, nothing on the road, and I’m a male. No real reason’.

Potts then stated his driving was ‘a bit radical, a bit heavy-footed when I shouldn’t have been’.

On Thursday, dressed neatly in a white shirt and white shoes, a much slower Potts pleaded guilty in Ballina Local Court to reckless driving in a manner dangerous between 11.20pm and 11.30pm on January 11.

Defence lawyer Gary Hooper acknowledged his young client had been driving with three passengers that night and that the result of his manner of driving and crash with the gutter ‘could have been a tragic outcome’.

However, Mr Hooper said a custodial sentence was not warranted because it was not a case where community expectations would want a jail sentence. He said no one was injured in the crash.

He said Potts had been driving for four years unsupervised and there had been nothing adverse on his record. Potts was also highly thought of.

“His driver’s disqualification will be a significant penalty, and to his family who have to take him to the building sites where he works,” Mr Hooper said.

Police facts from Snr Const Leonard stated that Potts was seen by police driving the blue Commodore and ‘perform a burnout’ through a roundabout on Ballina Road, followed by a screeching noise.

The car’s rear wheels lost traction and it ‘fishtailed through the round-about with smoke seen emitting from its rear wheels, a strong smell of burning rubber in the air’.

Potts moments later lost control of his Commodore and a rear wheel hit a gutter and was ripped off – the wheel landing 16m away.

The car (minus the rear wheel) continued east for several metres gouging the gutter before it spun and travelled in reverse causing deep gouges in the road.

When police arrived the Commodore was resting on its rear axle.

A female passenger had hit her head but was not seriously injured.

Magistrate Kim Pogson said Potts’ driving had been extremely dangerous and it was very fortunate no-one was killed as a result.

He ordered Potts complete 200 hours of unpaid community service work, telling him that if he came back before the court again on a similar offence he could expect to be jailed.



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