Talk the Toll Down – Pledge your support
Nanjing Night Net

A DRIVER’S momentary lapse while getting the second half of a toasted sandwich led to a fatal collision north of Terang in January last year.

Terang district farm hand Braydan Bausch, 20, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court this week to dangerous driving causing death. He will be sentenced next Tuesday.

The accident happened on a sweeping bend along the Terang-Mortlake Road, just north of the Darlington Road intersection, about 10.10am on Monday, January 10 last year.

Woorndoo’s John Richie, 73, died as a result of the accident.

His passenger walked from the accident scene. Bausch suffered head injuries, a fractured pelvis and hip and shoulder injuries.

Bausch had left for work in an unroadworthy and unsafe 1990 Holden Rodeo utility. It was also a manual vehicle and Bausch was a P-plater only licensed to drive an automatic.

Bausch got a ham and cheese toasted sandwich from a Terang takeaway shop which he ate on his way to work. He took his eyes off the road and lent down to pick up the second half of his toasted sandwich.

His vehicle veered on to the wrong side of the road.

Although Mr Richie swerved, he was unable to avoid a collision and the two vehicles had a high-speed head-on collision.

The two drivers were trapped in their vehicles. Bausch, who had not been wearing a seatbelt, was trapped for about 20 minutes. Mr Richie was trapped for more than an hour before he was cut free.

He was flown to Melbourne with life-threatening injuries. He was pronounced dead on arrival.

Bausch sent a letter to Mr Richie’s family explaining he had lent over to grab the second part of his toasted sandwich at the time when the collision happened.

The letter also indicated how sorry he was in relation to the death of Mr Richie.

A mechanical check on both vehicles found there was no mechanical fault which could have contributed to the accident.

Bausch had no alcohol in his system at the time of the accident and only has one minor prior driving offence.

A defence solicitor said the circumstances were at the lowest end of the scale for dangerous driving causing death, Bausch’s partner was about to give birth to their first child and submitted a sentence that did not involve time in custody was appropriate.

Bausch celebrates his 21st birthday on March 2 — next Friday. After that date he will not be eligible to serve any time in youth detention and if sentenced to an immediate jail term will have to go to an adult prison.

Bausch is being assessed for his suitability to serve time in a youth detention centre before being sentenced next Tuesday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.