Iced up father of five has learned his fate
DRUGGED up and falling asleep, Stephen Ross Sorensen did not brake as his car ploughed head-on into oncoming highway traffic at 100km/h.
The crash in November 2017 left Sorensen with debilitating injuries and left the driver he hit with a shopping list of severe injuries that have permanently impacted his quality of life.
Sorensen's vehicle crossed a one-metre-wide median strip and travelled in the wrong lane before it hit oncoming traffic, the court was told.
The 58-year-old father of five today (25.6) pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm while adversely affected by a cocktail of drugs.
Defence Barrister Matt Heelan said his client drove from Brisbane to his home in Farleigh when the crash occurred at Kunwarara, 60km north of Rockhampton.
"(The drive) unfortunately led to poor decision making in regard to methylamphetamine ," Mr Heelan said.
"He used amphetamines that day for the purpose of the drive and ... they were wearing off.
"He assumes he was falling asleep because there are no brake marks."
Three hours after the crash, Sorensen had 0.04mg per kg of amphetamine and 0.33mg per kg of methylamphetamine in his system.
Mr Heelan told the court his client turned to drugs after a messy divorce was followed by redundancy, depression and bankruptcy.
Crown Prosecutor Tiffany Lawrence tendered to the court Sorenson's Queensland criminal and traffic histories.
"He is obviously someone who has no regard for traffic offences and in this case it has had disastrous impact," she said.
"He has on my count had his driver's licence disqualified or suspended on four occasions and his traffic history spans some 29 years and 11 months."
It was not alleged Sorensen was speeding when he veered into oncoming traffic.
Ms Lawrence said the victim was an "active" 52-year-old man before the crash.
"His life has been irreparably changed by (Sorenson's) actions," she said. "He lived by himself and would ride his motorcycle daily ... of course that has now changed.
"The reality of that is largely lost to him. As a result of the injuries he had to move in with a friend who has become his permanent career.
"His day is marred by pain generally from the moment he wakes up. His independence is gone."
Judge Tony Moynihan said Sorenson's decision to take drugs and drive was "incompatible with safe driving".
Sorensen was sentenced to three and a half years in custody, to be suspended after he has served 10 months. The suspended sentence will hang over his head for four years.
He was disqualified from diving for three years. A conviction was recorded.