Drug driving mum who killed her son in a car crash sues Queensland for $1.5million for negligence


A convicted drug-driving mother whose son died when she crashed into a dead horse on a freeway is suing the government for not removing the animal.

Melissa Ann Crowley had been driving from Cairns to Townsville on September 30, 2015, when she hit a dead brumby on the Bruce Highway and crashed into a tree. 

Her 15-year-old son, Byron Crowley, died in the accident and Ms Crowley was sent to jail for three months after it was revealed she was driving while under the influence.

The court heard Ms Crowley had taken an ‘extraordinarily high’ cocktail of drugs including methamphetamine and amphetamine at the time of the accident. 

But Ms Crowley has now filed a $1.5million negligence lawsuit against the state of Queensland for what she claims was a failed duty of care, The Courier Mail reported.

Ms Crowley claims the accident that resulted in the death of her son was largely due to the state not addressing the problem with feral horses in the area.

At the time of the accident, the crash was the second brumby-related fatality within a few months.

Just months earlier, motorcyclist Bernard Davis died after he collided with a brumby on the same stretch of road in July, 2015. 

Local rangers allegedly also told Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service in 2006 that feral horses in the Clement State Forest were a menace and a risk to the public. 

Ms Crowley alleges the Queensland government failed in their duty of care to ensure the dead animal wasn’t on the road at the time of the accident.

She claimed the state failed to cull the large numbers of feral horses, failed to install fencing, and failed to display appropriate warning signs.

In addition to the significant psychiatric trauma she said she suffered after the death of her son, Ms Crowley sustained severe head injuries, a post-accident coma, and multiple fractures, the publication reported.

As part of her negligence lawsuit, she is seeking $1.5million in damages plus interest and costs for personal injuries. 


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