Driver ignored plea to slow down

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
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A driver who was asked by his passenger to slow down after being seen travelling at speeds of up to 200km/h before a serious crash near Mt Barker last year has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.

James William Schupp admitted last week to causing the crash on Woogenellup Road in March last year that resulted in life-threatening injuries to his passenger, Matthew Bayliss, Albany Magistrate’s Court heard.

Schupp lost control of his Holden Commodore on a right-hand bend and crashed into trees, resulting in him being ejected from the car.

Prosecuting Sergeant Carl Fjastad said the locked-wheel skidmarks on the road were used to determine the speed, which was calculated at between 119km/h and 122km/h at the point of the crash.

The posted speed limit on the road was 110km/h.

Sgt Fjastad said Schupp was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the car, landing in scrub, while Mr Bayliss suffered a serious bowel injury that required emergency surgery.

The court heard Mr Bayliss asked Schupp to slow down after looking across at the speedometer, which had reached 200km/h at a point in the trip, and another motorist had also seen Schupp speeding before the crash.

Sgt Fjastad applied for the charge to be dealt with in a higher court, saying the excessive speed and Schupp’s failure to wear a seatbelt were serious aggravating factors.

“He very well could have died, how he didn’t is anyone’s business,” he said.

Defence lawyer Tony Chilvers said the most serious cases of dangerous driving causing death were still heard in the Magistrate’s Court and believed the matter could be dealt with appropriately in its current jurisdiction.

Magistrate Tanya Watt rejected the police application and ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared before Schupp is sentenced on April 15.

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