A Nowra driver who caused a head-on crash on the Princes Highway that left her two-year-old grandson a paraplegic will face court for sentencing in August.
Lawyers for the 49-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, confirmed her pleas of guilty to one count of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and two counts of causing bodily harm by wilful neglect when driving a vehicle during as brief mention of her case in Wollongong District Court on Friday.
The latter two charges relate to injuries sustained during the crash by her four-year-old granddaughter, also a passenger in her car, and the driver of the other vehicle.
Court documents said the woman was travelling along the highway at Albion Park Rail on the afternoon of August 20 in 2020 when she became distracted by her grandchildren and turned around to talk to them.
The car swerved multiple times then veered into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a Toyota HiAce van.
Neither driver had time to apply their brakes before the collision, the court heard.
The HiAce driver was able to extricate himself from the van, suffering only bruising, a sore neck and a scratch to his arm.
The grandmother had to be cut from the vehicle and was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Her granddaughter received only minor injuries, however her grandson had to be flown to Sydney Children's Hospital for urgent treatment.
He was later diagnosed with a T2 spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia. He also suffered perforated bowel, police said.
A subsequent investigation by crash specialists revealed both children were in incorrectly fitting child seats that were too big for their size and age. The boy's restraint also had no padding or cushioning.
Police interviewed the grandmother two months later, however she said she still could not remember what happened immediately before or after the crash.
"Her only memory was being in the car and seeing people on the side of the road after the collision," the court documents said.
She admitted she had a "bad habit" of being distracted by the children, saying she often turned and talked to them in the back seat and picked up their drink bottles if they dropped them.
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