19 March 2024

Tesla driver seriously injured in head-on crash when woman drove onto wrong side of road

| Albert McKnight

Elissa Jane O’Donnell, 41, will face sentencing over the crash next month. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A woman with meth in her system caused a head-on crash with a Tesla when she drove onto the wrong side of the road, leaving her victim with numerous serious injuries.

Elissa Jane O’Donnell, 41, pleaded guilty to charges of negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and drug driving over the incident.

She was driving a Ford Focus on William Hovell Drive in Belconnen at around 9:40 pm on 2 January 2023 when her soon-to-be victim was driving his Tesla Model 3 in the opposite direction, court documents say.

While it was nighttime, the road was dry.

As the pair approached each other, O’Donnell crossed the double white lines onto the wrong side of the road and crashed head-on into the Tesla.

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Paramedics arrived and took both to the Canberra Hospital.

The victim was left with numerous injuries, including a spinal fracture, bruises to his lungs, a broken rib and thumb, a lacerated intestine, as well as cuts and abrasions to his arms and face.

O’Donnell underwent a blood test that detected methylamphetamine.

Police interviewed the victim at the end of the month and he told them he thought his car might catch fire. He began to panic when he couldn’t get his door open.

He said he had to crawl out the passenger’s side door and tumbled out onto the side of the road.

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“He was in a heap of pain and just remembers trying to get away from the car,” police said in the court documents.

While O’Donnell was scheduled to face sentencing in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (18 March), the court heard she was living in her car and her lawyer wanted an adjournment to obtain a court duty report.

Magistrate Jane Campbell said the defendant faced “serious charges” and such a report would assist her.

She placed O’Donnell on bail, a condition being that she participate in the court duty report, and adjourned for sentencing to 26 April.

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And the EV still didn’t burst in to flames, yet the usual climate deniers surely will..

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