Foot torn off in dad’s 4WD horror Harley bike crash
A DAD distracted by his crying child drove onto the wrong side of the road and his 4WD slammed into an oncoming motorcyclist - the impact ripping off the man's foot.
An Ipswich court heard how the driver Nicholas Nordstom may have then saved the elderly rider's life through his immediate efforts to stem the blood flow from the terrible injury.
Appearing before Ipswich Magistrates Court, 34 year-old Nicholas Jay Nordstom pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention causing grievous bodily harm to William Haer, 76, on Sunday, August 11, 2019 on Lake Moogerah Road.
The charge is a relatively new one in Queensland and the court heard there was a lack of precedent cases to consider in sentencing options for Magistrate Rob Turra.
Police prosecutor Jack Scott said Nordstom was driving a white Isuzu 4WD wagon at 11am eastbound but as it approached the crest of a hill he turned to his crying son seated in the back seat.
His Isuzu drifted across double white lines and into the path of the oncoming Harley Davidson rider.
The front right side of the Isuzu struck the rider severing his lower right leg just above the ankle.
Mr Haer lost control and fell off the Harley, sliding along the road and ending in a roadside table drain.
Nordstom did a u-turn back to the crash scene and helped the badly injured Mr Haer apply a tourniquet to stem the blood flow - using a strap and children's clothes from his vehicle.
The rider was evacuated by helicopter to Princess Alexandra hospital in Brisbane for medical treatment.
The court heard that due to infection the leg was amputated above the knee but the retiree is reported to now be doing well with rehabilitation. His medical bills were covered through insurance.
Mr Scott said police sought a three month jail term that could be suspended for 12 months as Nordstom has no criminal history although there was traffic history.
Defence lawyer Daniel Boddice sought a significant fine, saying the assistance given by Nordstom may have saved the rider's life.
"He fashioned a tourniquet, used his children's clothes and assisted the single paramedic at the scene," Mr Boddice said.
"Removed the motorcycle from off the centre of the road.
"His children had been arguing in the back of the vehicle and he turned around, it drifted across the road."
Mr Boddice said Nordstom went above and beyond in rendering first aid and he understood the rider's insurance had covered a large proportion if not all of his medical bills.
He said Nordstom was a FIFO mine worker and was clearly remorseful for his actions.
"His traffic history is not brilliant. Were persistent (offences) for low speed offences, can't shy away from that," Mr Boddice said.
"A prison term should be the last resort. A significant fine would send a clear message."
Mr Turra said Nordstom had not been charged with a more serious offence of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and the criminality of the charge before him carried a maximum penalty of 12 month's jail.
Mr Boddice sought no conviction be recorded, saying this would likely impact his work in the mines.
Mr Turra said Nordstom had four pages of traffic history - mostly for speeding, and on that day had been driving with his children when there was an argument between them in the back seat.
"You turned around and the vehicle veered across the double lines," he said.
"His foot severed immediately. Infection occurred in hospital and it had to be amputated above the knee.
"You rendered assistance and assisted the paramedic. And made quite frank admissions."
He noted there were no comparative cases on appeal because of the relative newness of the charge.
Mr Turra fined Nordstom $1800 and disqualified his licence nine months.