Fallout from motorbike rider's 'terrible mistake'

A GOONELLABAH man who crashed his motorbike while under the influence was lucky to be alive, a court has heard.

Jamie Priestley, 43, has been disqualified from driving after he faced Lismore Local Court for sentencing on his mid range drink-driving charge on Monday.

According to court documents, Priestley was riding his black Kawasaki Ninja 650F motorbike along Oliver Avenue, Goonellabah, shortly after 8pm when the bike "flipped end-over-end" and collided with a parked car.

Emergency services found Priestley under the parked car and removed him after lifting the vehicle.

Magistrate David Heilpern said Priestley had a "good traffic record" but had "really jumped in the deep end" with this incident.

"On one hand, you're the luckiest person in the court room because you survived," Mr Heilpern said.

On the other hand, he said, Priestley would have to bear the cost of his actions through injury, the destruction of his motorbike and the cost of repairs to the other car.

"There could have been someone else killed or seriously injured as a result of your actions," he said.

His solicitor Gary Hooper told the court his client had no memory of the incident which took place on November 15 last year.

"He has no recollection of the day of the crash," Mr Hooper said.

"In fact, he is unable to give an explanation of the events."

Mr Hooper told the court his client spent five days in hospital as a result of the crash and suffered a broken collarbone, six broken ribs and a punctured lung.

The extent of his injuries prevented him being breath-tested at the scene of the crash, but Priestley was subjected to mandatory testing after being taken to Lismore Base Hospital for treatment.

Court documents said Priestley told police he "could not remember anything before the collision as he was knocked unconscious after the collision".

He returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.113.

The court heard Priestley had been unable to work as a labourer since the incident.

Mr Hooper said his injuries and licence disqualification also meant it was difficult for him to see his young Queensland-based daughter.

"He realises, your honour, even if he doesn't know why, that he made a terrible mistake and he's now paying for it," he said.

Mr Heilpern disqualified Priestley for six months, backdated to December when he was originally disqualified.

He was also fined $600.



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