Violent drink driver chases, rams and runs family off road
A ROCKHAMPTON man has been sentenced to nine months imprisonment for running a family off the road on the Burnett Hwy last year.
The incident occurred on November 4 when a mother and father were driving home with their three children from a local community event about 10pm.
The Biloela mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Central Telegraph a man in a black sports car overtook their four-wheel drive and braked suddenly in front of them.
The woman said the man stopped, got out of his car and started coming towards them and she tried to reverse as fast she could.
"I've panicked, because I have three little boys in the back seat," she said.
"Then he ran to his car and he's reversing up the Burnett Hwy chasing us."
The woman turned up dirt roads trying to lose him as he was only in a low car but he just kept on chasing them and blocking them.
The man continually hit their car with his sports car, causing more damage to his car as they had a bull bar and side steps.
Eventually the sports car sustained enough damage that he was no longer able to continue chasing them.
The man, Lawrence Cameron Mitchell, 28, was found later that night by local police, when he was charged with counts of dangerous driving.
He faced Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Tuesday, July 24, over the offences.
The man pleaded guilty to three charges, two of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and one of drink-driving.
The man was sentenced to nine months imprisonment for two charges each to be served together, with an early parole date of October 24.
He was disqualified from driving for two years for one charge and 18 months for another.
He was also ordered to pay $15,406.37 restitution and was fined $1600 for drink-driving.
The mother said it was great to know he was behind bars.
"It does feel nice to know he is off the road," she said.
She said it was a Wowan police officer who broke the good news to her.
"They called me up each time he went to court to let me know it had been adjourned," she said.
"It is really nice to know we have such nice, caring police around us."
Months on from the incident, the young children who were in the car are still traumatised from the experience.
"I will take my little boy in to hear the news direct from the police, I think it will help him a lot," she said.
"He is eight, he witnessed it, every time he sees a black car he still jumps. He still gets a lot of nightmares."
Not only has it brought pain onto her children but it has left the mother scarred as well.
"I still can't drive at night," she said.
"I used to travel a lot by myself with the kids down to Brisbane, overseas, now I wouldn't travel with the kids at night any more."
The mother said the rampage was something for which she could never have been prepared.
"It is something I never thought would happen, I thought if you have a good, reliable car you would be fine," she said.
"It was if you had a breakdown then you might get hurt."
With her mobile phone in the boot of her car in her handbag, the mother said the scariest part was not being able to call for help.
"My fear is we weren't safe that night," she said.
"He was like a raged animal coming towards us."
Trying to move forward and prevent herself from being in the same situation again, the mother has gone through some measures to protect herself.
"I have put a dash cam, a two-way radio and a better aerial in my car for better phone service," she said.
"Just more security measures.
"And I am a lot more concious now, I call my husband and let him know when I am leaving town so someone knows where I am. And I make sure I always have my mobile with me at the front."
The mother said while time does heal all wounds, it will take quite a while yet.
"It was definitely the scariest night of my life," she said.
"It is getting a little better (moving on) but it is taking a lot longer than I hoped it would.
"I don't think I will ever fully recover."