Young driver fined after steering failure led to Shepparton car accident

In court: A 21-year-old man has been fined $500 and ordered to complete a safe driving program. Photo by Rodney Braithwaite

A young driver who crashed into a playground barrier in Shepparton has been told by a magistrate he “could have killed someone”.

Mac Sandilands, 21, pleaded guilty at Shepparton Magistrates’ Court to failing to have proper control of a vehicle and failing to report an accident to police.

The court heard Sandilands was turning his car from Balaclava Rd on to The Boulevard in Shepparton, when he lost control and collided with the barrier of a playground.

The incident at 3.30pm on September 23, 2021, was captured on CCTV and caused extensive damage to the barrier and the car, which was written off.

Police interviewed Sandilands at his mother’s house in Shepparton where he told them his steering had failed and when he performed a hard turn at the roundabout the car skidded.

“My car **** itself — the steering went,” he said.

Duty lawyer Megan McKenna said Sandilands hadn’t tried to avoid responsibility maliciously but had driven straight home to his mum to find out what he should do.

She said he was a plumber with a young child and no criminal history, and asked magistrate Victoria Campbell not to interfere with his driver’s licence, which could impact his employment.

Ms Campbell said she accepted it was an accident, but said Sandilands should have ensured the vehicle was in a proper drivable condition and he should be more responsible.

She ordered him to complete a safe driving program and fined him $500 without conviction.

Sandilands was also ordered to pay $737.20 to Greater Shepparton City Council for the damage caused to the barrier.