Teen nearly paraplegic after mate drives drunk and stoned
A GEEVESTON youth nearly caused his mate to become a paraplegic after driving him home from a party while drunk and stoned.
In August 2018, 19-year-old disqualified driver Tom Andrew Hickey drove two underage friends from Geeveston to a party at Dover in an unregistered and uninsured 1997 Hyundai Excel hatchback.
But as the Supreme Court of Tasmania heard on Monday, the first-year driver Hickey had a blood alcohol reading of 0.108 and had smoked cannabis before the trio drove back.
It was raining lightly and the road was damp as Hickey negotiated a sweeping bend on the Huon Highway at excessive speed, losing control of the vehicle.
The car veered off the roadway, sliding and rotating anticlockwise before becoming momentarily airborne, coming to rest on the right side of its roof.
"The rear of the vehicle was embedded into a tree and the rear passenger and boot area had collapsed towards the front of the vehicle," Justice Stephen Estcourt said while sentencing.
"Police found (a 17-year-old boy) trapped in the rear of the vehicle. He was cut free from the vehicle and airlifted to hospital in a critical condition. He was later transferred to Victoria for intensive care medical treatment."
The boy had several fractures and dislocations in his spine, a crushed pelvis, broken shoulder blades, a snapped left arm and chest and abdominal injuries - undergoing surgery in Melbourne with a steel plate inserted into his neck.
"Initially the doctors thought he might have been a paraplegic," Justice Estcourt said.
Hickey was also hospitalised after the crash with fractures in his spine, hip socket and pubic bone - but discharged himself the following day against medical advice.
A crash scene investigator found the car to be unroadworthy with defective tyres and non-compliant brake and clutch pedals.
Hickey, who has a number of prior convictions for drink driving and other motoring offences, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm by dangerous driving plus a host of summary offences.
Now 21, he was sentenced to an 18-month home detention order with electronic monitoring.
Originally published as Teen nearly paraplegic after mate drives drunk, stoned