Italian driver disqualified over serious crash
AN Italian national has been handed a good behaviour bond with conviction over a serious crash that left a motorcyclist severely injured.
Giorgia Simoncelli, who lives in Sydney on a student visa, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm in Ballina Local Court today.
Simoncelli, 29, turned onto the wrong side of the road of Shelly Beach Rd, Ballina to travel north on January 6 when a motorcyclist, 47, approached a short time later from the opposite direction.
The 47-year-old female motorcyclist was side-swiped by Simoncelli's van during their attempts to avoid each other.
The motorcyclist was airlifted to Gold Coast University Hospital.
Defence barrister, Larry Brazel said the Italian completed the traffic offender program and had received one speeding fine in Australia.
Magistrate Robyn Denes said Simoncelli's European driving experience influenced the incorrect turn in the "low traffic area".
Ms Denes said Simonelli's driving was an "understandable mistake but with disastrous consequences" and described the crash as "one of those awful things".
Ms Denes acknowledged her early plea of guilty as well as her remorse and contrition over the incident.
But Ms Denes said she couldn't "lose sight" of the injuries sustained to the victim.
"You're going to be left with your own trauma to deal with," Ms Denes said.
Simoncelli was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.