Wake-up call for ‘sleepy’ driver

A SLEEPY motorist crashed into a Red Cliffs property after nodding off behind the wheel, a court has heard.

Jiann Hwon Ching faced the Mildura Magistrates’ Court this week, charged over an incident in January when he came to grief driving home from work.

The court heard Ching was returning from a shift picking peas at a farm in the Nangiloc/Colignan area about 4.30pm on January 11 when he fell asleep while driving on Jacaranda Street through Red Cliffs.

Ching’s car struck a street sign as it went through the Fitzroy Avenue intersection, before crashing through a fence and eventually into a brick wall and a gas meter, both of which were damaged.

The car narrowly avoided the resident of a nearby unit, who was standing outside.

Nobody was injured in the incident and Ching told police he “kind of dozed off” and drove into the house to “avoid a collision”.

His lawyer, Gavan Tellefson, said Ching had started work at 6am that morning and probably had to get up an hour earlier to get to work.

Ching travelled from Sydney, where he now lives, to Mildura via public transport to plead guilty to careless driving.

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said Ching must have ignored his body’s warning signs about fatigue before falling asleep.

Ching was fined $350 and ordered to pay statutory costs.

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