Heathcote man jailed for freeway crash

A man who drove the wrong way on a freeway and crashed head-on with an another car has been jailed for 18 months.

Michael Hanmer, 36, will spend a minimum of 10 months behind bars after pleading guilty in Bendigo Magistrates Court on Monday to dangerous driving causing serious injury and drink-driving.

The Heathcote man had a blood alcohol content of 0.144, almost three times the legal limit, shortly after the crash on April 13 last year.

Hanmer entered the Princes Freeway at Newborough, near Moe in the state's south-east, about 9.30pm and drove the wrong way in the east-bound lanes for a short period of time before crashing into another car.

The car's driver suffered a fractured arm requiring surgery and bruising, as well as financial and emotional distress.

Hanmer's car also collided with a second car, causing minor damage to the vehicle.

An off-duty police officer discovered the man walking along the freeway a short distance from the crash and detained him until police arrived.

The court heard Hanmer had a long history of alcoholism and an extensive criminal history including prior convictions for careless driving and drink-driving.

On Monday, he also pleaded guilty to failing to render assistance at the scene of a collision, failing to report an accident to police and possessing cannabis.

Defence lawyer Pip Walker said her client had been around bad influences but had since relocated and was engaging in counselling.

Ms Walker said Hanmer had been handling his drinking, and had only lapsed because of the anniversary of his father's death and the recent death of a friend's children.

But, Magistrate Jennifer Tregent said Hanmer had repeatedly failed to take advantage of community corrections orders and suspended sentences and ruled jail was the only option.

She also cancelled his licence for four years and fined him $300 for drug possession.

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