Tele/ St George Shire Standard: Drunk cop fled scene after Blakehurst pile-up

A young police officer has told of his shame as he was sentenced for a horror drunk crash involving six cars.

A drunk off-duty NSW Police officer who smashed his BMW into five cars at speed was subsequently arrested by his own colleagues.

Mason Hayward, 22, caused carnage when he lost control of his vehicle on Tom Uglys Bridge in Blakehurst while he was driving at more than twice the legal limit on the evening of August 16.

The series of resultant crashes sent one car spinning, and others ploughing over the median strip into oncoming traffic.

He fled the scene and hid in a restaurant car park before being arrested.

“As Hayward reached a point about 200m south of Beach St, the front portion of his car has collided with the rear of a white Mitsubishi Outlander station wagon,” agreed police facts state.

“The force of the collision caused the Outlander to spin 360 degrees before coming to a stop facing back in the original direction.”

Hayward then accelerated away, weaving in and out of traffic before he collided at speed with the kerb and then a silver Nissan hatchback.

“The force of the collision has forced the hatchback into the incorrect side of the road, with the front offside colliding with the front near side of a grey VW panel van which was travelling northbound,” agreed police facts state.

“The Nissan continued into oncoming traffic and collided with a grey Suzuki hatch which was also travelling north.”

Hayward is on restricted duties

Two people in the Nissan sustained minor injuries, with the passenger suffering bruised elbows and the driver sustaining a cut lip.

Their 21-month-old daughter who was also inside the car was miraculously uninjured.

“Hayward then crossed the raised concrete median strip and collided with the rear offside of a Skoda station wagon in the northbound lane, causing it to spin 90 degrees and sustain significant damage,” agreed police facts state.

“Hayward’s vehicle then continued through traffic on the incorrect side of the road and came to a stop between two lanes facing oncoming traffic.”

After he was helped from the vehicle, Hayward fled and security cameras captured him hiding behind a vehicle in a car park near a nearby restaurant and marina.

“Two witnesses walked down the driveway and located the accused concealed behind a van,” agreed police facts state.

“Hayward stated words to the effect of “I didn’t do anything, my grandfather is dying in Sutherland Hospital, I have to go to him now”.”

Following Hayward’s arrest when witnesses returned him to the scene, a subsequent breath analysis at Sutherland police station returned a result of 0.126.

Hayward pleaded guilty to mid-range drink driving, not providing details to another driver after a crash, reckless driving and failing to stop and assist after a crash and was sentenced by Magistrate Holly Kemp at Sutherland Local Court.

“The facts present a disturbing and alarming series of events,” Ms Kemp said.

“A large number of innocent people were adversely affected and placed in a significant amount of danger – and the risk and danger materialised and actually occurred.”

Ms Kemp convicted Hayward – who is currently on restricted duties – and sentenced him to a 20-month community corrections order with a two-year driving disqualification, a two-year interlock licence and a $1500 fine.

“If it were not for your early plea of guilty and other factors, I have no doubt this would have a sentence of imprisonment,” Ms Kemp said.

“There does need to be a message sent to the community that this kind of offending is unacceptable.”

The court accepted Hayward was extremely remorseful and ashamed of his conduct and a psychologist’s report tendered to the court suggested he was suffering a panic attack prior to the offences which occurred.

Hayward’s solicitor Sam Macedone told the court the young Aboriginal man had suffered a difficult childhood but was ultimately considered a leader in his community after becoming the first member of his family to complete the HSC and obtaining his position in the NSW Police Force.

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