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Driver left grandmother with brain injury

A Victorian man left an elderly woman with an acquired brain injury and her eight-year-old granddaughter in hospital after he crashed into their car while driving on the wrong side of the road.

Matthew Zulumovski, 21, had only had his driver’s licence for six months when he collided with Lisa Everest, 85, and her eight-year-old granddaughter at Geelong in July 2019.

Zulumovski on Friday faced the Victorian County Court, where he was handed a three-year community corrections order after pleading guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing injury.

Mrs Everest was flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition and later required treatment for an acquired brain injury.

The 85-year-old woman cannot drive, will never walk again, has speech difficulties, and requires both pain medication and frequent care.

“I am enjoying being alive and am glad that I am alive, but it’s not the life I would have hoped to be having,” Mrs Everest said in a statement.

“My life of independence has gone and I am completely dependent on other people, which I hate.

“I have experienced every manner of trauma from this crime that you can imagine. Grief, distress, physical trauma, emotional trauma and injury of both mind, body and spirit.”

Mrs Everest’s granddaughter suffered a concussion and broken wrist from the crash and was also taken to hospital.

“She constantly worries for her grandmother … or other members of our immediate family when they are not home,” the girl’s mother told the court.

Judge David Brookes said Zulumovski had shown remorse through his plea of guilty and a letter of apology.

But he said that the crash, caused by the 21-year-old’s “momentary inattention”, had devastating consequences for Mrs Everest.

“There has been a major impact on her life in the latter years of her life expectancy,’ Judge Brookes told the court.

Zulumovksi, who had not been drinking or speeding before the crash, must also complete 200 hours of unpaid community work.

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