FILE PHOTO: One young Witta man found out the hard way how dangerous his beach diving was, a court was told yesterday.
FILE PHOTO: One young Witta man found out the hard way how dangerous his beach diving was, a court was told yesterday. Sarah Barnham

Dangerous driving on Cooloola beach almost ruins two lives

A YOUNG Sunshine Coast man, described as having a bright future, nearly ruined his own life and that of another young man in one episode of high spirited beach driving on the Cooloola Coast, Gympie Magistrates Court was told yesterday.

Magistrate Chris Callaghan told Reece Anthony Cox, 19, of Witta, that he would have gone to jail if the other young man had been more seriously hurt.

"And I don't mean suspended jail or immediate parole, I mean real jail," Mr Callaghan said as he sentenced Cox for dangerous driving on October 20 last year.

The court was told Cox admitted to police his driving was dangerous, after the tray of his ute had hit another young man in the shoulder and head, knocking him unconscious.

"He has suffered memory loss, headaches, soft tissue neck injury, whiplash-like symptoms, ligament damage and the strength and movement are significantly reduced in his left arm," Mr Callaghan said.

Mr Callaghan noted the injured man had only recently been able to resume surfing, but had used up all his sick leave and was behind in his rent.

"You're a good young lad with no criminal history and only one traffic offence, but this is a serious matter," he said.

Mr Callaghan said he would not order compensation because the magistrates courts could not order sufficient compensation.

But he ordered half of Cox's $4000 fine be paid to the victim in a separate payment.

He disqualified Cox from driving for six months. The court ordered no conviction be recorded.