A LOCAL doctor was given a stern warning at the Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court after she collided with a Ford Laser in her Mercedes in Traralgon last year and drove off, leaving the passengers of the car stunned and injured.
Medical doctor and Traralgon resident Evette Ghobrial Markos, aged 42 years, was fined $1000 and had her driver’s licence suspended for one month after she was found guilty of failing to render assistance or attempt to report the incident to the police.
“By virtue of your education and training, you should have been in a position to make a better decision,” Magistrate Peter Mellas told Dr Markos.
“Your loss of licence comes bearing in mind your role in the community which requires you to work after hours.
“I want to bring home to you that you need to change your driving habits; having a licence is a responsibility.”
The court heard Dr Markos, who had a series of traffic infringements in her name, failed to give way at the intersection of Shakespeare Street and Craig Burn Place in Traralgon at 5.55pm on 20 July 2011 and collided with the car driven by 20 year-old Amy Mommers.
Ms Mommers and her 24 year-old passenger Brayden Pratt were injured in the collision and were brought to Latrobe Regional Hospital, which was where Dr Markos was heading to for a surgery procedure.
Both vehicles suffered extensive damage.
“By the nature of the damage caused, I’m surprised she thought it was okay to keep driving,” Mr Mellas said of Dr Markos, who arrived in Australia in 2010.
“In her first few months in Australia, she had a number of infringement notices; it is not surprising she was involved in an accident.
“I understand she is under pressure and has responsibilities to her job, but she is also someone I expect can make a decision in a crisis.”
After the sentence was handed down, Mr Pratt said he thought it would be heavier, but “justice was served.”
“I am a lot more cautious while driving now,” Mr Pratt, also a Traralgon resident, said.
“I was gutted when she didn’t stop (at the time of the accident); I didn’t understand why she didn’t stop.”
Mr Pratt and Ms Mommers were en route to a friend’s house when the collision occurred.
Meanwhile, public prosecutor Senior Constable Karen Connell said the prosecution was satisfied with the outcome.
“It reflects the seriousness of the offence and hopefully sends a message this conduct is not acceptable by the court and the community.”
When asked about the sentence as she left the court complex, Dr Markos said “it’s okay”.
“It won’t happen again in the future,” she said.