Sat. May 21st, 2022

ACT Law Courts

18-year-old Michael Christopher Donlan, also known as Michael Christopher Spong, pleaded guilty to causing a car accident. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A teenage driver quickly drove “like a missile” before a crash that partially pushed his passenger out of his car.

Legal documents show that Michael Christopher Donlan, also known as Michael Christopher Spong, drove back to the Canberra Institute of Technology campus with a classmate around 1pm on February 17, 2021, after taking a walk during their lunch break.

As they drove west along Belconnen Way, the classmate looked at the speedometer and saw that the 18-year-old was driving his Toyota Corolla at 160 km / h.

He flew between the lanes as he overtook other cars, where the driver of one later told police he was checking his rearview mirror and “saw a small white car coming towards me like a missile”.

“The white car was driving a million miles an hour and I could hear the car engine screaming as it passed me,” he said.

“I felt like I was standing still.”


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As Donlan crossed the intersection with Gungahlin Drive, he had to take evasive actions to avoid a collision with another car, and his Corolla spun 180 degrees and began to travel backwards. It hit a fence, hit a tree and rolled onto its roof.

The classmate was partially pushed out through the rear passenger window and caught. Donlan was able to get out of the car and tried to pull him out without success before rescue services arrived.

“We went a little fast. We were d-kheads, ‚ÄĚDonlan told police.

The classmate was taken to Canberra Hospital with an injured spleen, broken femur and fractures of the spine and skull.

Donlan later told police that at one point he reached speeds of 180 km / h. Police noted that he was polite, cooperative and showed remorse.


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Donlan, of Hawker, appeared by telephone in ACT Magistrates Court on Friday (October 1), where he pleaded guilty to charges of guilty driving that caused grievous bodily harm as well as driving in an unregistered and uninsured vehicle.

His lawyer, Adrian McKenna of the Hugo Law Group, sought a psychiatric assessment, and Judge Glenn Theakston adjourned the case to sentencing until Dec. 16, referring to restorative justice.

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