A Cringila man has admitted responsibility for a drug-induced, high-speed car crash at Broken Hill that injured an eight-year-old child and left her mother fighting for life in hospital.
Lionel Anthony Gaudie, also known as Tony Gaudie, was under the influence of cannabis and driving his V8 Holden Commodore at an estimated speed of 235km/hr on the evening of June 9, 2014 when he crossed to the wrong side of Silverton Road while on top of a crest.
A couple driving in the opposite direction attempted to pull their vehicle off the road to avoid a crash but were unable to get clear in time and collided with the right side of Gaudie’s Commodore, sending the couple’s vehicle spinning along the roadway.
Meantime, the Commodore flipped on its roof, skidded and rolled several times until finally coming to a rest, right way up, about 200 metres down the road.
Gaudie and the child, who had been sitting in the passenger’s seat, were able to free themselves from the vehicle.
The girl suffered a broken wrist and cuts to her ankle and the rear of her scalp while Gaudie had three broken ribs and bruising.
The girl’s 36-year-old mother, who had been riding in the back seat, had to be cut out of the wreckage by the SES.
She was taken to Broken Hill Hospital where it was discovered she had a litany of serious injuries including fractures to six of her vertebrae, a shattered pelvis and a broken rib, ankle and shoulder blade.
Doctors opted to have the woman flown to Adelaide for specialist treatment.
She later gave a statement to police in which she said she thought Gaudie was driving at about 120km/hr in the moments before the crash, however the woman’s daughter told officers she saw the Commodore’s speedometer hit 228km/hr.
When interviewed by police, Gaudie said he thought his speed was about 150km/hr, telling them “I got into it a little bit”.
Forensic police calculated Gaudie’s actual speed to be around 235km/hr. A blood test revealed he had cannabis in his system.
Gaudie was charged with aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and driving with an illicit drug in his system.
He failed to front court in Broken Hill in July 2015 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He remained on the run from police until last month, when it was discovered that he was living in the Illawarra.
He was arrested on the outstanding warrant but released on bail again.
Gaudie pleaded guilty to both offences in Wollongong Local Court last week.
The case will return to Broken Hill for sentencing, which is expected to take place early next year.