A CARELESS driver who caused a five-car pile-up east of Camperdown, injuring 11 people, is paying a high price for fighting the case in court.
Wayne Anthony Blackney, 42, of Thornton Street, Camperdown, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court after his solicitor said he had unwisely decided to not pay a fine.
Blackney had received an infringement notice of $346 for careless driving but elected to have the matter heard in court.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt convicted and fined Blackney $550, with $110 costs.
Blackney was also not insured and is expected to have to pay thousands of dollars for the extensive damage he caused to the four other cars involved in the accident.
Police alleged that at 5.40pm on June 30 a line of five cars was travelling along the Princes Highway at Weerite, between Camperdown and the Stony Rises.
The driver of the first car indicated to turn right into a driveway, but Blackney, who was some distance behind the fourth car, didn’t notice the vehicles were stopping.
His car slammed into the fourth vehicle, causing a massive chain reaction.
Police said 11 people were taken to hospital and two of those had serious injuries.
Defence counsel Jonathan Makary said Blackney had foolishly elected to come to court.
He said the road was wet at the time of the accident, Blackney’s car was not fitted with AVS brakes and his vehicle failed to stop before colliding with the fourth car.
Mr Makary said Blackney was expecting to be paying for the accident for some time and he was extremely remorseful people were hurt.
He said insurance companies were already circling.
Mr Klestadt said it was the responsibility of all drivers to make sure they did not risk injury or damage to other road users.
“You should have been paying attention to what was happening in front of you,” he said.
“Eleven people suffered injuries which were caused by your driving. This is a classic case of careless driving,” he said, before deciding not to impose heavier fines due to Blackney’s good record.