Koonawarra teacher avoids jail after crashing car while driving drunk

A Sydney school teacher from Koonawarra has narrowly avoided jail over a drunken crash at Kanahooka that left his car on its side and him stuck inside.

Ljupco Nedanovski, an assistant principal at a school for special needs children, was driving his Volkswagon Polo along Lakeside Drive in the early hours of March 15 this year when he lost control of the vehicle, causing it to plough into a parked Nissan Patrol.

The force of the impact lifted the Patrol off the ground and pushed it into the gutter, while Nedanovski’s Polo flipped over and came to a rest on its side, trapping the 50-year-old inside.

Unable to climb out of the vehicle, Nedanovski had to wait for emergency services to arrive a short time later. He was eventually extracted from the vehicle through the rear hatch door.

Nedanovski, who reeked of alcohol, was taken to Wollongong Hospital where a blood sample revealed he had an alcohol reading of 0.320 – putting him at more than six times the limit.

Police suspended Nedanovski’s licence on the spot and charged him with high-range drink-driving, to which he pleaded guilty in Port Kembla Local Court on Wednesday.

His lawyer, Anthony Williamson, told the court Nedanovski had had problems with alcohol and depression for “quite some time” and had been drinking excessively at his Koonawarra home before the incident.

“He got into an argument with his mother and couldn’t quite cope with staying at home,” Mr Williamson said.

“His capacity to make rational decision with regards to his driving with impacted by the alcohol.”

He said Nedanovski had abstained from alcohol since the crash and had completed a live-in rehabilitation course.

Magistrate Mark Douglass agreed to suspend Nedanovski’s 13-month jail sentence after accepting it was in the community’s interest for him to continue with his rehabilitation and work commitments, but reiterated the seriousness of his behaviour that day.

“Your reason for drinking [and driving] is irrelevant – people could have been injured or killed by your actions,” he said.

“I can’t think of really a more serious example of this offence.”

Nedanovski was also banned from driving for six months.