Tough penalty for unlicensed driver in crash


THE driver who caused a six-car pile-up in Parramatta Park has been banned from holding a licence.

Aaron McKewin was disqualified in Cairns Magistrates Court yesterday for his role in the multiple-car crash at the intersection of Martyn and Florence streets last month.

The court heard the Woree father-of-one was not licensed to drive on November 18, but was behind the wheel of an unregistered vehicle at the time.

Not only was McKewin unlicensed but he fled the scene and unlawfully entered a premises on Draper St.

"Members of the public were injured by the defendant's actions," Sergeant Vaughan Cooper, prosecuting, said.

At the time, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said three people were taken to Cairns Hospital in a stable condition.

The patients included a woman in her 50s with chest pain, a woman in her 20s with hip and shoulder pain, and another woman in her 20s with a leg laceration and potential spinal issues.

Vince Knox, defending, told the court his client had panicked.

Emergency services attended the crash at Parramatta Park. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Emergency services attended the crash at Parramatta Park. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

"He did take off because he knew he was not licensed," Mr Knox said.

"He was breath-tested, drug-tested and came back clear - it was not the case that he was under the influence at the time."

McKewin's reasons for driving remain unclear.

"It was a foolish decision to take off," Mr Knox said.

McKewin, 26, pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle, unlicensed driving, driving an unregistered vehicle, failing to stop after causing an accident, and failing to stop after causing injury and trespassing.

After his arrest, the court heard the crash was McKewin's third dangerous-driving offence in the past three years, having served jail sentences for the other two incidents.

Magistrate Catherine Benson jailed McKewin to 15 months jail, which he will serve after the activated four-month suspended term.

He will be released on parole on February 9 next year and will be eligible to reapply for his licence through the courts from December 2021.