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Man jailed over fatal drive through floodwaters

By Chrissy Arthur, Wednesday March 7, 2012 - 11:42 EDT
ABC image
Laurent was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended after three months. - ABC

A 21-year-old man has been jailed after his action of driving through floodwaters resulted in the death of a man in central-west Queensland.

Cameron Mark Laurent, from Townsville in the state's north, pleaded guilty in the Longreach District Court to the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.

The court heard he had been driving with two older men at night in January last year when they agreed to cross the swollen Cornish Creek near Aramac, north-west of Longreach.

The road was closed at the time.

The four-wheel drive vehicle was washed from the road and a passenger in his 60s drowned as a result.

Crown prosecutor Clare Kelsey told the court there were no precedents in Queensland where a charge of this nature had arisen from driving through floodwaters.

Laurent was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended after three months.

Longreach Police Inspector Mick Keys says the case is the first of its kind and hopes it is a strong deterrent.

Inspector Keys says it is an appropriate sentence.

"To the best of my knowledge there is no case law in Queensland pertaining to similar acts," he said.

"As a consequence I am very happy that a precedent has been set with this sort of thing.

"We lose far too many people driving or completely ignoring road closures and endangering other people's lives.

"We did lose a number of lives in Queensland in a similar vein to this and somebody has to be held accountable.

"I am just hoping that this will get the message across that the judicial system and the law of our land is standing up and making people be accountable for the decision-making processes."


- ABC

© ABC 2012

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