Support flows for texting crash victim

THE wife of a Koroit district cyclist run down by a P-plater in a BMW has been heartened by an outpouring of support on social media.

On Monday Port Fairy’s Kimberley Davis, 21, was fined $4500 and lost her licence for nine months after she was involved in an accident with the cyclist just west of Koroit.

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The court heard that Davis had used her phone 44 times driving from East Warrnambool to Koroit before the collision at 7.20pm on September 20 last year on the Penshurst-Warrnambool Road. She pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to dangerous driving. 

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Kevin Mullins said it was one of the worst cases of selfish driver behaviour he had heard.

Social media has been deluged with commentary from people outraged at the leniency of the sentence.

Yesterday, the cyclist’s wife said the public outcry justified how she felt.

“I was pretty pissed off when I left the court (on Monday), but then the phone started ringing on Tuesday morning. The comments confirm that the way I was thinking was not unreasonable,” the woman, who did not want to be named, said.

“Ms Davis’ answers to the police were just staggering. It beggars belief, I had tears in my eyes in court.”

The woman said her husband was incredibly lucky to still be walking.

“There was only a millimetre in it. The surgeons said nine out of 10 people would be in a wheelchair,” she said.

“Thinking about that sends shivers up my spine. We’re going away for the weekend and I can’t wait to get away and put this all behind us. I know how lucky we have been.”

The woman said she had felt powerless through the police/court process and her husband had never received an apology from Ms Davis.

“I went to court looking for blood and got a nick,” she said. “I can’t believe my husband has never been offered an apology — not so much as a text message.”

Davis’ answers when interviewed by police about a month after the accident have stunned many people.

“I just don’t care because I’ve already been through a lot of bullshit and my car is like pretty expensive and now I have to fix it,” she told a police officer. “I’m kind of pissed off that the cyclist has hit the side of my car. I don’t agree that people texting and driving could hit a cyclist.”

Magistrate John Lesser said there were issues surrounding the case of great community significance, especially drivers using mobile telephones. 

Defence counsel Tony Robinson said that in the time between the accident and this week’s court hearing Ms Davis was caught drink-driving (.07) and received an infringement notice when she drove her friends to the Gallery nightclub in Warrnambool.

He said she decided to drive that night because she thought she was going to lose her licence anyway because of the collision with the rider.

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