Crash driver 'arguing on mobile phone' when she hit bridge

A DRIVER arguing on her mobile phone with her estranged partner was the likely cause of a crash involving a rail bridge.

The impact crunched the front panels of the woman's Toyota Prado and wrecked its bull bar only a few hours after a $103 fuel drive-off.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Jodie Michelle Cobbo was unlicensed and living out of the vehicle because she was homeless.

Police said the Prado was fitted with stolen number plates.

Cobbo, 34, from Ipswich, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention on November 7 at Wulkuraka; driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle; driving unlicensed when SPER suspended; having registration plates from another vehicle; unlawful possession of suspected stolen property; and stealing fuel.

The Prado's registration had been cancelled on October 26 and Cobbo's licence was SPER suspended on October 31.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Narelle Krushka said Cobbo stole the fuel from a North Ipswich service station.

Sen-Const Krushka said police found Cobbo's badly-damaged vehicle at 3.25pm beneath the Wulkuraka rail bridge.

Police interviewed Cobbo in Ipswich Hospital after the crash.

"She says she was having an argument with her partner over the phone and did not see the bridge wall until she hit it," Sen-Const Krushka said.

"She said the plates were stolen off a car parked along Cemetery Rd.

"She had no licence because she was unable to pay her SPER debt as her Centrelink payments had stopped."

Defence lawyer Jason Voight said Cobbo was a mum of four and the offences were out of character.

"She says she is homeless and was living in the car that crashed into the bridge," he said.

"She spent some time in hospital."

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said the crash caused significant damage and Cobbo's vehicle not insured.

Ms Sturgess said the records showed her SPER debt problem was fixed the next day.

Cobbo was sentenced to a nine-month supervised probation order, fined $600, and her licence disqualified for one month.

A conviction was not recorded.

She must pay the $103 compensation for the fuel theft.



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