The alleged disqualified driver who hit a cyclist at Lake Wendouree and left him seriously injured in the middle of the road may have been fatigued or on drugs, a court has heard.
Charged with negligently causing serious injury, dangerous driving causing serious injury, failing to stop after an accident when someone has been seriously injured, failing to render assistance when someone has been seriously injured, driving an unregistered vehicle and driving while disqualified, Rebekah Emily Stewart, 23, appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday for a bail application.
Police informant Detective Sergeant Mark Amos told the court shortly after 6am on Good Friday Stewart allegedly collided head-on with cyclist, 36-year-old Christian Ashby, near the Olympic Rings precinct before driving off erratically.
He said Stewart had either veered, or was already travelling on the wrong side of the road when she allegedly hit Ashby, who is currently still in hospital recovering from fractures to his legs, pelvis and ribs, a deflated lung, lack of mobility and the removal of a kidney.
Detective Sergeant Amos said the silver Mitsubishi was then seen on CCTV driving with its headlights off before Stewart allegedly parked the car in long grass at a vacant lot in Paddys Drive and walked to an associate's house in Delacombe.
Two male associates then drove the accused to collect the abandoned car and returned to the associate's house where they pushed the car into the backyard and partially covered it with a tarpaulin and blanket.
After receiving an anonymous tip, the car was discovered with the bonnet and windscreen removed, as well as all electrical connections disconnected.
The court heard the males made a number of attempts to have Stewart return to remove the car after they became aware of the nature of the damages.
Detective Sergeant Amos said police couldn't determine if Stewart was under the influence of drugs because she left the scene, but said her actions were indicative of a driver impaired by a substance, or suffering the effects of fatigue.
He said an examination of her mobile phone records show constant use over 22 hours leading up to the incident.
"Any person with that sort of usage would be fatigued and would not have been able to control a vehicle," he said.
The court heard the accused's father drove her to the train station where it was believed she was collected by an associate in Melbourne.
During her arrest police found a note book in her possession which indicated she had ties to Queensland, something Detective Sergeant Amos said he had concerns over if she was to be released on bail.
He said he also had concerns over the accused's history of avoiding police and disregard of court orders, with the accused's offending breaching a suspended sentence for driving related matters.
"Our concern is that the applicant presents a significant and unacceptable risk to the community," he said.
When cross examined by Stewart's lawyer, Kate Ballard, whether a stable address with her family and the possibility of a surety would satisfy his concerns, Detective Sergeant Amos said his concerns were with her driving while she is disqualified.
Ms Ballard began questioning whether a place in a drug rehabilitation program would eliminate any risks of offending when Magistrate Doherty said he wouldn't accept the program as satisfactory unless someone from the organisation could give evidence.
The bail application was then adjourned so someone from the clinic could give evidence.
It will be concluded on May 12 at Ballarat.
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