L-plate driver who mowed down a boy, two, after drinking – leaving him with such severe brain injuries he can no longer walk, talk or go to the toilet – is jailed for one year
- L-plater Madison Lorraine McKenzie hits toddler, jailed
- She was speeding and driving unsupervised
- She returned a a positive blood test for alcohol
A Queensland learner driver has been jailed for at least a year after her dangerous driving left a toddler with catastrophic brain injuries.
Brisbane District Court was told on Monday that Madison Lorraine McKenzie, 23, of Redcliffe, was speeding with a blood alcohol level of .08 and without a supervising driver on the afternoon of November 28, 2021.
A two-year-old boy was riding his bike along the side of Georgina Street with his parents and older brother in the suburb of Woody Point on the coast north of Brisbane.
At about 4.10pm the boy steered his front wheel into the gutter and attempted to cross the road while his parents called on him to stop.
A Queensland learner driver has been jailed for at least a year after her dangerous driving left a toddler with catastrophic brain injuries
McKenzie at that point turned onto the road driving a white Toyota Corolla hatchback at a speed estimated at 61 to 68kh/h in a 50 zone and struck the boy.
The boy was left foaming at the mouth from a traumatic brain injury, fractured ribs and femur.
McKenzie stopped about 200 metres down the road and ran back.
‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’d dropped my phone and I was picking it up and I didn’t even see him. Is he still alive?’ she said at the scene.
McKenzie last year pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, drink driving below medium level and driving as a learner while unsupervised.
Crown prosecutor Cameron Wilkins said the traffic conditions were clear with the sun behind McKenzie at the time and the road was in good condition.
The boy’s mother read her victim impact statement to the court in which she said her son’s potential had been ‘destroyed’.
‘Before November 2021 I was living my best life with two gorgeous healthy little boys, my husband and a good job,’ she said.
Brisbane District Court was told that learner driver Madison Lorraine McKenzie, 23, of Redcliffe, was speeding with a blood alcohol level of .08 and without a supervising driver when she struck the boy
‘That all came crashing down. He can no longer talk, walk, or go to the toilet by himself. He has multiple seizures and will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life, if it is not cut short as I’m told it might be.’
McKenzie’s barrister, Penny White, said her client had issues with drugs and alcohol, had no prior criminal or traffic offences, had immediately confessed to causing the collision and suffered from post traumatic stress as a result.
‘The real factor that seems to have led to this is reaching for her mobile phone, she was distracted and had her eyes off the road,’ she said.
District Court Chief Judge Brian Devereaux sentenced McKenzie to four years of imprisonment and disqualified her from driving for five years, describing her offence as more than just momentary inattention.
‘No amount of punishment for you is going to make the boy better or ease the family’s burden,’ Judge Devereaux said,
‘This was a very serious example of dangerous operation of a vehicle. It is inescapable that you actually go to jail.’
Judge Devereaux set McKenzie’s date for eligibility for parole in February 2024.