Reckless driver pleads guilty after hitting Australind train

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

A Withers man has admitted to reckless driving more than a year after police say he drove around boom gates to evade them before colliding with the Australind train.

Christopher Bekkers, 21, appeared in Bunbury Magistrates Court via video link from Bunbury Regional Prison on Friday when he pleaded guilty to reckless driving and a string of other charges over the April 1 incident.

Mr Bekkers is facing a string of other charges he is yet to enter pleas to after police allege he again evaded police during a separate incident while on bail.

Police first tried to stop Mr Bekkers as he drove an alleged stolen car in Davenport on April 1, and after colliding with the train a short time later he tried to flee.

Mr Bekkers is also charged with being involved in an incident and failing to ensure each victim received help and failing to stop for as long as necessary after police allege he left his 17-year-old passenger injured at the crossing.

Mr Bekkers was arrested a short distance from where he crashed the car at the Robertson Drive train crossing.

While Mr Bekkers pleaded for the matters to be dealt with in court last week, Magistrate David Maclean responded that it was “sensible” to obtain pre-sentence and psychological reports.

Magistrate Maclean told Mr Bekkers he would not be “losing any time” in custody as he was “going to be spending time in jail in any event”.

Defence lawyer Michael Joubert said negotiations were under way with police over several other charges.

Mr Bekkers also pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia over an incident in East Bunbury on November 24. He also faces charges of stealing a motor vehicle, driving while impaired by drugs and having no authority to drive.

Mr Bekkers will be sentenced on August 20.

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