Drugged-up, asleep at the wheel: Driver’s dangerous head-on
A drugged-up driver who left another road user with "severe injuries" after a head-on crash has avoided spending time in jail.
Robert James Dagg's tragic descent into drugs after divorce and being made homeless culminated in a serious collision in September last year, leaving the other driver hospitalised for weeks.
Dozing off from a cocktail of illegal drugs, the 38-year-old Acacia Ridge man didn't even realise he had fallen asleep at the wheel until the head-on.
Dagg pleaded guilty at Richlands Magistrates Court on Tuesday to one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while affected by an intoxicating substance.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Paul Murray told the court Dagg was involved in a car accident at 6.30pm on September 27, 2019 at Shute Harbour Rd in the Whitsundays.
His car drifted into the opposite lane and collided with the other vehicle head-on.
When emergency services arrived 20 minutes later, Dagg was seen crying and saying, "I'm sorry mate, I didn't mean to fall asleep".
Tests in hospital revealed high readings of amphetamines and methylamphetamines in his system.
Sr Cst Murray said the other driver was left with "quite severe injuries" including a broken right heel, 12 fractured ribs and a compression fracture in his spine.
Defence lawyer Michael Cridland said his client did not have a protracted driving history and the offending came at a "low point" in his life.
He said Dagg had struggled with drug addiction after his marriage fell apart.
"At times he was living on the side of the road in his vehicle and had gone hungry", Mr Cridland said.
In the months since the accident, Dagg had been sober and had turned his life around.
Magistrate Aaron Simpson noted Dagg was remorseful but said his actions had a "very dangerous outcome".
"The other driver would have hoped for dear life he wasn't going to be killed," Magistrate Simpson said.
In place of a jail term, Dagg received an intensive corrections order for 12 months with conditions not to take drugs. He was disqualified from driving for two years.
Originally published as Drugged-up, asleep at the wheel: Driver's dangerous head-on