A man who allegedly fled a serious two-car collision, in which the elderly driver of the second vehicle sustained life-threatening injuries, has been remanded in custody so his lawyer can gather further evidence in support of him being granted bail.
Jesse Davies, 30, appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court from the police cells on Monday as his lawyer made an application for him to be granted bail.
The court heard Davies, who was driving his aunt's silver Holden Captiva, allegedly collided with a green Toyota Camry at an Alfredton intersection about 11.30am on Saturday morning.
Police informant, Detective Senior Constable Matthew Moore of the Major Collisions Investigation Unit, alleged Davies was travelling south on Longley street and failed to give way to the Toyota as it approached the intersection from the west on Leopold Street.
"Upon entering the intersection the accused braked and steered to the right to try to avoid the Toyota heading west on Leopold Street," the court heard.
Detective Senior Constable Moore said the Holden "impacted heavily" with the driver's side of the Toyota, "causing it to veer off the road and collide with another vehicle parked in a carport at the intersection".
Detective Senior Constable Moore said the accused got out of the car and approached a witness, telling them to "call Triple-0 - he's in a bad way" before fleeing the scene on foot.
The 86-year-old driver of the Toyota Camry was mechanically trapped in his vehicle.
He was extricated by emergency services before being flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition.
Detective Senior Constable Moore told the court the man had undergone several medical procedures for his internal injuries overnight and was currently in the intensive care unit.
"Due to his age, injuries and the extensive surgeries he has gone through he is touch and go at the moment and remains in a life-threatening condition," he said.
The court heard Davies left his phone in the car when he fled the scene and ran through Victoria Park to a friend's house "to calm down".
Three hours after the collision he returned to his aunt's Wendouree address, where he had recently been living, where he was arrested by police.
He was taken to hospital and cleared of any injuries before he was taken back to Ballarat Police Station for an interview.
During the interview he told police he took the keys to his aunt's car from the kitchen table and drove off in it without her permission.
"The accused stated he was driving from Wendouree to Delacombe... at approximately 70 to 80km/h in the 50km/h zone," the court heard.
The court was told Davies told police he had reached over for his phone in the footwell of the passenger seat as he was approaching the intersection.
"By the time he looked up from grabbing his phone he saw a green Toyota Camry coming from his left to right and he hit the brakes straight away."
The court heard Davies told police he did see the give way sign but he "made a mistake".
"He said he panicked after the collision, told someone to call an ambulance and just legged it."
He said he panicked after the collision, told someone to call an ambulance and just legged it.
He has been charged with negligently causing serious injury, dangerous driving causing serious injury, driving whilst disqualified, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to render assistance.
The court heard Davies was a regular methamphetamine user but had not used the drug in the days leading up to the collision.
The court was also told Davies had no stable address and "spends nights at friends and associates when they can accommodate him", while he was also disqualified from driving.
Detective Senior Constable Moore said Davies had prior convictions for drug possession, assaults, criminal damage and failing to answer bail.
He also has a "substantial" number of driving convictions, which include driving while disqualified and drink driving.
Detective Senior Constable Moore said police believed Davies was an "unacceptable risk" of further offending if he was granted bail.
He said Davies had been driving despite being disqualified and had failed to abide by the undertaking of good behaviour and the court-imposed condition not to drive.
"Police believe the accused's poor driving history and blatant disregard for the rules presents a significant risk to the safety and wellbeing of the community."
He added that Davies had prior convictions for failing to answer bail.
"Police have no faith that should the accused be granted bail that he will adhere to any conditions."
Later in the afternoon Davies was assessed for the Court Integrated Services Program, for which he was deemed to be suitable.
His lawyer, Manny Brennan, listed several reasons for why Davies met the threshold for compelling reasons to be granted bail.
He said the CISP program would provide him with support and could link him in with drug and alcohol treatment and that he had diagnosed health conditions that made him vulnerable in prison. The court heard Davies' health conditions included Multiple Sclerosis, which caused numbness in his feet and hands, and also dermatitis.
He added Davies had a "limited" criminal history and his time spent on remand could exceed an ultimate sentence. Mr Brennan said Davies was "quick to cooperate and admit to the offending" during an interview and would not have access to a car if granted bail.
Magistrate Letizia Torres said she had not been provided with enough evidence to grant bail.
"This is very serious offending, with a victim in intensive care and we don't know if he's going to survive. This is a strong prosecution case with admissions and a jail term, while not inevitable, is likely.
"He broke the law by driving and then fled the scene and didn't help the victim or stay with him."
With no evidence about the severity of Davies' medical conditions and no accommodation locked in for him to live if he were granted bail, Ms Torres adjourned the matter for the defence to gather supporting documentation.
Davies was remanded in custody for two weeks and the case will return to court in February.
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