Drunk driver leaves mum comatose for eight days
A SERIAL speeding driver who put a mother in a coma after he smashed into her car while more than four times the alcohol limit and twice the speed limit is now behind bars.
On June 12 last year, Bryce William Holmes, 25, had just finished up at a party in Blackbutt - where he was drinking rum straight from the bottle - when he decided to get behind the wheel and drive back to his parents' Yarraman home.
As he was driving along the D'Aguilar Hwy, other drivers witnessed him travelling an estimated 160kmh in a reckless manner and overtaking cars on double white lines.
The victim, in her 60s, was returning home from church and had begun to turn right from Emmert St onto the highway - in an area that had dropped down to a 60kmh zone - when Holmes smashed into the back of her car about 10.30am.
From an air-bag analysis, it was determined that 2.5 seconds before the crash Holmes was travelling 127kmh and .5 seconds before he was travelling 113kmh.
A post-crash blood test revealed Holmes, who has previous high-range speeding charges, had a blood alcohol reading of 0.236.
His victim was airlifted to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital where she was placed in an induced coma for eight days before spending about six weeks in the intensive care unit.
She required surgery to her face, pelvis and collarbone and has no recollection of the crash or the days leading up to it.
Dash cam footage taken by a driver travelling in the opposite direction of Holmes was played in court which showed the moment of impact.
Today in Maroochydore District Court, Holmes pleaded guilty to single counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing grievous bodily harm whilst intoxicated and excessively speeding, driving under the influence of liquor and driving an unregistered car.
The daughter of the victim was among those in the court room, along with Holmes' family.
Holmes' defence barrister Don MacKenzie argued his client shouldn't be disqualified from driving as losing his licence would have a "devastating impact" on his job as a boilermaker.
He also pointed out the mass amounts of driving Holmes has done during his employment made his driving history less serious as it might first appear.
Judge John Robertson said he acknowledged Holmes' apology to the court, but the incident was a serious one which was still impacting the victim.
Holmes was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, suspended after 14 months for four years and disqualified from driving for a total of 2.5 years.