Man jailed over drunken smash
A SOUTH GRAFTON man was fighting back tears when sent to jail on Monday for causing a car crash that injured four people.
Jade Owen Taylor was sentenced in Grafton Local Court to nine months jail after pleading guilty to high-range drink-driving and aggravated driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.
His supporters in the public gallery looked upset as he was led away to the cells. “I love you, Jade,” a woman cried out.
According to submissions by Taylor's solicitor Neil Johnson, the 29-year-old was a hard-working young man with no criminal history who made a terrible decision.
Mr Johnson told the court that Taylor had not intended to drive that morning, but gave in to a friend's request to drive him from South Grafton to Wooli.
He said Taylor smoked cannabis and drank heavily the night before and was intending to sleep it off. Instead, he ended up driving his friend to Wooli.
That decision had terrible consequences when Taylor skidded on gravel on Eight Mile Lane and collided head-on with a car carrying a Woombah family of three.
The hit car was shunted backwards from the impact, causing it to skid straight into a large tree.
The male driver, 41, was trapped for more than an hour before he was cut out of the car and airlifted to Coffs Harbour Health Campus in a critical condition.
His wife and 10-year-old son were also taken to hospital.
A 36-year-old passenger in Taylor's car was taken to Grafton Base Hospital with head injuries.
Taylor's blood alcohol level was 0.183 - almost four times the limit.
He was sent to jail for nine months with a non-parole period of six months and disqualified from driving for three years.
He was also fined $500 for unaccompanied learner driving.