At 120km/h, teenage girls begged driver to slow down before crash
Travelling 50km/h over the speed limit, Connor John Farley ignored pleas to slow down by the four terrified teenage girls in his car and even a warning from a passing motorist to “stop driving like an idiot”.
However, loud music playing in the vehicle may have drowned out warnings from the 16-year-old passengers about a looming intersection before Farley crashed north of Brisbane and changed their lives forever, a court has heard.
Farley – now 20 – was transporting the four girls in January 2021 before driving dangerously, reaching speeds of up to 122km/h in a 70km/h zone at Brendale.
Tailgating a car, a motorist yelled out at Farley: “Pull your head in, you have four girls in the car, stop driving like an idiot”.
Instead Farley sped up and overtook more vehicles before failing to negotiate an intersection and slamming into trees, seriously injuring three of the four girls.
“The passengers were telling you about the approaching intersection and to slow down … but it can’t be said whether you have heard … due to the loud volume of music playing in your car,” Judge Jodie Wooldridge told the District Court.
One passenger suffered a broken wrist while another endured a spine fracture as well as ankle and shoulder injuries.
A third teenager spent almost a month in hospital including an intensive care stint after suffering a brain bleed, hip injuries and later had to have part of her foot amputated.
Her father fought back tears as he read her victim impact statement as Farley looked on.
It detailed not only the physical toll with her mother now her full-time carer but also the accident’s psychological scars, saying she had suffered depression and PTSD while the trauma had caused her parents’ marriage to break down.
“We were all screaming and terrified at the speed Connor was travelling at,” it said.
“Connor’s reckless actions and his thoughtlessness towards four other lives is beyond belief.
“My life and my family’s life was turned upside down. All I want is my life back.”
Farley pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing grievous bodily harm.
He also appeared on another four charges after having sex with a 14-year-old girl in December 2020.
Farley had conversations and exchanged images with the teen on Snapchat over several months before organising to meet at her grandmother’s place when she had been left alone.
The 14-year-old said they had consensual sex “but didn’t realise the gravity of what had occurred until after the fact”, crown prosecutor Erin Kelly said.
The incident affected the girl, made her more withdrawn from her family and also caused a breakdown in her relationship with her grandmother, Ms Kelly said.
Overall, Farley was on Tuesday sentenced to a total of three-and-a-half years in prison and will be eligible for parole in 12 months.