Driver causes accident that almost kills mate on scooter
RAYMOND John O'Neill has known Frank Inmon for years, so when he nearly killed him last year, his feelings of remorse have been hard to live with.
On Monday O'Neill,79, faced court after pleading guilty to charges of negligent driving.
He was involved in an accident in Fry St, Grafton on July 14 in which a car knocked Mr Inmon from his mobility scooter and inflicted life threatening injuries.
Police said O'Neill was driving his silver Holden Cruze east on Fry St around 1.15pm heading towards the Queen St intersection.
He failed to stop at a "clearly marked" stop sign and crossed into the path of a white Holden Commodore.
O'Neill's car collided with the rear driver's side of the Commodore causing both cars to spin out of control across the intersection.
The Commodore struck Mr Inmon's mobility scooter as he was about to cross Fry St on the eastern side, heading north.
The impact flung him several metres up the footpath and crushed his mobility scooter under the car.
It caused severe head injuries and broke a number of ribs in the left side of his body.
O'Neill's solicitor, John Kelly, said his client and Mr Inmon had known each other for years and both now lived in the Clarence Village retirement home.
Magistrate Robyn Denes accepted O'Neill has suffered considerable remorse for causing the accident that almost killed his friend
Mr Kelly said his client believed the stop sign he did not see was obscured by foliage, but by the time he checked it two weeks after the accident, it was clear.
"My client agrees there was some degree of negligence because he did not see the stop sign," Mr Kelly said.
The magistrate said she needed to impose a sentence that reflected the level of negligence and not the extent of the injuries it inflicted.
She convicted O'Neill of the offence, but did not impose any further penalties on him. She also disqualified him from driving for a year.