Dangerous driver assured jail

LOVED:  Nathan Warburton, left, and his mother Joanne Warburton, killed by a dangerous driver in 2012
LOVED: Nathan Warburton, left, and his mother Joanne Warburton, killed by a dangerous driver in 2012

NATHAN Warburton can tell you how many years, months and days it’s been since he lost his mother Joanne in a car accident caused by a young hoon.

It was 660 days yesterday.

Joanne was helping Nathan with his catering business at Hamilton on the night of July 19, 2012, when mother and son stopped for a coffee before heading home to Salamander Bay.

After the cuppa, Nathan turned onto Industrial Drive, Mayfield, when he looked in the rear-vision mirror and saw his mother turn onto the same stretch of road.

Within seconds, Kurt Williams, driving a Holden Commodore, came ‘‘whizzing’’ along the road at about 110km/h in the 80km/h zone before he lost control and struck Joanne’s Mitsubishi Lancer.

Her car slammed into a power pole.

Nathan turned and rushed to the scene to find his mother dead behind the wheel.

He told Newcastle District Court yesterday of the horrific toll his mother’s death has had on her family.

Relationships have been strained and fractured.

Individuals have struggled to cope.

Williams, 22, of Swansea, previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death.

He told Judge Helen Wilson that he couldn’t remember certain parts of the night, but he admitted he was speeding when he lost control.

He initially told police that a car shunted him from behind, but he conceded yesterday  there was no car behind him.

One of his friends, who was driving another car, told police that Williams came ‘‘whizzing’’ by him after they’d accelerated from a set of lights at Ingall Street about 450 metres from where the crash occurred.

Other witnesses told police that they saw Williams’s car weaving in and out of traffic along Hannell Street before it turns into Industrial Drive, but Williams denied driving that aggressively.

He said he was remorseful and had learned a lesson.

Judge Wilson, who told Williams he will be going to jail, will hand down sentence next week.


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