A Coutts Crossing woman has been convicted of negligent driving over a horror 2019 crash on Armidale Rd. Photo: Bill Hearne
A Coutts Crossing woman has been convicted of negligent driving over a horror 2019 crash on Armidale Rd. Photo: Bill Hearne

Negligent driving conviction for woman over horror crash

After surviving a terrifying crash in 2019 that saw her vehicle hit and truck, crash into a culvert and fly into the air before slamming into a gum tree, a Coutts Crossing woman has been convicted over a series of serious driving offences.

Kristen Cotton appeared in Grafton Local Court on Monday for sentencing over a series of driving offences, including negligent driving (no death or grievous bodily harm), possessing a prohibited drug, using an unregistered registrable Class A motor vehicle on road, using a Class A vehicle displaying misleading number plates, driving an uninsured vehicle, driving while licence suspended and driving while illicit drug was present in blood.

The court heard that about 1.15pm on December 3 2019 the 25-year-old was driving her white Holden station wagon south along Armidale Rd, at a speed estimated to be well in excess of the 80km/h posted speed limit.

According to court documents Cotton failed to negotiate a slight left hand bend in the road and the outside wheels of the vehicle ran off the road surface and onto the grass verge of the eastern side of the road. While attempting to correct the vehicle, court documents state Cotton then slid 90 degrees across the road and sideways with the rear of the vehicle in the northbound lane.

The agreed facts state at this time a white tip truck was travelling in the opposite direction on Armidale Rd, and the driver slammed on the brakes however Cotton’s vehicle slid sideways into the front bumper of the truck. The rear passenger side of Cotton’s vehicle then hit the front passenger side bumper of the tip truck, causing Cotton’s vehicle to spin into a culvert then go flying in the air for around 15m before crashing into a large gum tree. Court documents reveal that as the vehicle landed it rolled several times before coming to rest on its wheels about 80m from the initial point of impact.

The court heard Cotton managed to get out of the vehicle with the help of witnesses passing through the area before emergency services arrived on the scene.

NSW Ambulance paramedics treated Cotton at the scene and took her to hospital, where she admitted to taking the drug ice earlier in the day. While in the ambulance Cotton gave paramedics a bag containing a white crystal substance believed to by methylamphetamine, which was seized by police and weighed at 0.04g.

In April the following year police received the results of the drug test for Cotton’s blood sample which returned positive reading for amphetamine and methylamphetamine.

Police checks of Cotton’s vehicle revealed that it’s registration had expired in 2017, and the licence plates on display belonged to an entirely different vehicle. A check on Cotton’s licence also revealed that her learner licence had been suspended a month prior to the crash.

In court on Monday magistrate Kathy Crittenden convicted Cotton, who was sentenced to a conditional release order for 12 months, with the condition that Cotton attend and complete a driver education program as directed by Community Corrections. The court disqualified the offender Cotton from holding a driver’s/rider’s licence for 12 months, and was fined a total of $1000.