Driver fined over “unfortunate accident” which injured two near Kalbarri

Headshot of Liam Beatty
Liam BeattyMidwest Times
Hutt Lagoon, also known as 'the Pink Lake', attracts tourists from around the world.
Camera IconHutt Lagoon, also known as 'the Pink Lake', attracts tourists from around the world. Credit: Letitia Busniak/The Geraldton Guardian

A Perth woman has been fined and had her licence disqualified after causing a car crash near Kalbarri last year which injured two people.

Jessica Ng Chee appeared in Geraldton Magistrate’s Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. The court was told Chee had been visiting the Mid West with friends and stopped on the side of George Grey Drive to see the Hutt Lagoon pink lake on October 10.

She tried to do a U-turn to head back south along the road but failed to see another vehicle travelling at 100km/h towards her. Prosecutor Sgt Dean Solman said the oncoming driver tried to perform an evasive manoeuvre but “slammed” at speed into the passenger side door.

“The (other) vehicle rolled a number of times due to the high collision and slid into nearby bushland,” he said.

The two occupants of the other vehicle, a man and a woman, were taken to Geraldton Hospital with minor injuries including bruising and loss of skin.

The 65-year-old’s lawyer Kevin Prunty said the Victoria Park woman had been driving for more than 40 years and this was her first driving offence.

“The car was owned by a friend and they were taking turns driving,” he said. “She instructs she glanced in rear vision mirror and didn’t notice the vehicle coming up from the south.”

“It was an error, possibly due to lack of experience in country driving.”

Sentencing the woman, Magistrate Chris Miocevich noted the incident “luckily” did not cause permanent injury to the pair.

“What’s happened here is an unfortunate accident,” he said.

“I think everyone has been in a situation in their driving experience where you don’t look properly and with luck other drivers have managed to avoid the accident.”

Chee was fined $2000, had her licence disqualified for 12 months and was ordered to pay court costs of $248.70.

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