Crash agony for elderly victim

Geelong Indy_20160304_P1 (1)

A man seriously injured a 90-year-old woman and her middle-aged daughter when he crashed into a Norlane home while fleeing police, a court heard yesterday.

Scott O’Keefe, 43, of Corio pleaded guilty in Geelong Magistrates’ Court to charges including reckless conduct causing serious injury.

O’Keefe “took off at a fast pace” after police pulled him over on the Princes Highway in April, prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Kylie Jane said.

“The car collided with the front wall of the house (and) police found Mr O’Keefe on the ground near the car,” she said.

“A 56-year-old woman and her 90-year-old mother were both in the lounge of the house at the time of the crash. They were conveyed to the Geelong hospital, both suffering injuries.

“The 90-year-old woman suffered serious injuries, a fractured pelvis and ongoing pain. The 56-year-old suffered shock and bruising.”

The older woman’s victim impact statement said her injuries left her feeling like a burden on her family.

She was now unable to walk freely and required assistance to shower and dress.

“I am unable to tend to my garden and gardening was my life,” her statement read.

The woman felt “lost and depressed” and “too fearful” to return to her home of 50 years.

Leading Sen Const Jane said police found a plastic container with .2g of cannabis in O’Keefe’s car.

“The offending in this matter is quite serious,” she told the court.

“His driving record seems to be escalating in severity in a short period of time.”

O’Keefe’s lawyer, Shane Balkin, said his client was driving to his partner, who had “self-harming behaviours”.

“She said she’d slashed herself with a knife and was bleeding heavily,” Mr Balkin told the court.

“He was on his way to see her when pulled over by police. Mr O’Keefe panicked thinking about his partner and sped away.”

Magistrate Gerard Lethbridge said imprisonment was “inevitable and usually substantial” for anyone with O’Keefe’s “very poor prior record”.

The case was continuing when the Indy went to press.

Originally published at Geelong Independent.


About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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