Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Driver Jailed after Horror Crash; Two Nieces of Rockhampton Man Killed and Other Family Members Injured in Bundy Crash

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Driver Jailed after Horror Crash; Two Nieces of Rockhampton Man Killed and Other Family Members Injured in Bundy Crash

Article excerpt

Adam Davies

APN Newsdesk

A ROCKHAMPTON man has been jailed for five years over a horror crash near Bundaberg that claimed the lives of his two nieces and seriously injured four other family members.

Daniel Christopher Lawrence, 31, pleaded guilty yesterday in the Brisbane District Court to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and grievous bodily harm and to negligent acts causing harm.

The court heard the crash happened during the early hours of August 14, 2011, on the Bruce Hwy near the intersection of Gentle Annie Rd, about 50km south-west of Bundaberg near Childers.

Lawrence, who was unlicensed, had earlier received a phone call from his sister Alana Lawrence, asking him to drive to Ballina in Northern NSW to collect her and her five children so she could escape a violent relationship.

Crown prosecutor Ben Power said the family were making their way back to Rockhampton when his four-wheel-drive veered off the road on a bend and slammed into a gum tree.

He said Lawrence had either fallen asleep at the wheel or was not fully concentrating at the time of the crash.

Lawrence's nieces, Indiana, seven weeks, and Ella, 1, were killed instantly in the crash. Another niece Chloe, 3, received serious head injuries and their two older siblings Breanna, 5, and Jasmine, 7, along with their mother Alana, received minor injuries.

None of the children were wearing a seatbelt.

Lawrence also pleaded guilty to armed robbery after he held up a taxi driver, 67, on November 2, 2011. The driver had picked him up with two other men from an address in Lamington St, Rockhampton.

The court heard Lawrence had been self-medicating at the time of the robbery in an attempt to deal with the crash.

Defence barrister Lars Falcongreen said Lawrence had a horrid and abusive upbringing which included his mother hitting him regularly with a cricket stump because she said he looked like his alcoholic father. …

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