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13 April 2005
 
Young Drivers
 
Find out about what can happen when people drink alcohol before driving.


ROCHELLE JONES: Good evening, everybody, and thank you very much for coming tonight. My name is Rochelle.

At present I'm serving a 14-month incarcerated prison sentence at Berrima for drink-driving offences, my first and only ever offence.

JONATHAN HARLEY: Three years ago, Rochelle Jones made a life-shattering mistake.

ROCHELLE JONES: I have no memory of that night.

I was told that I had had a serious accident and that I had been drinking, that I lost control of my vehicle and I crossed onto the other side of the road and collected a person on a motorbike.

BERNIE ACCOLA: I was going to my girlfriend's place, travelling from the northern beaches into North Shore, but I don't actually remember the riding or putting on my helmet or any of those things.

JONATHAN HARLEY: Trauma may have blocked their recollections, but both Rochelle Jones and Bernie Accola know all too well what happened.

JONATHAN HARLEY: Bernie Accola had multiple broken bones and, critically, punctured lungs and a burst aorta.

BERNIE ACCOLA: I've been told that I'm very lucky to have made the recovery that I've made and to even have made it to hospital.

JONATHAN HARLEY: Incredibly, today Bernie Accola is almost fully recovered.

He and his wife Megan are expecting their first child next year.

BERNIE ACCOLA: Considering what has happened, I'm very happy.

JONATHAN HARLEY: For Rochelle Jones who was convicted of aggravated dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, accepting what she did has been much more difficult.

ROCHELLE JONES: Living with me is hard, living in there is hard, so I never take for granted anything ever again.

JONATHAN HARLEY: Long after her own broken bones have mended, Rochelle Jones is still plagued with remorse and guilt.

ROCHELLE JONES: But I know I can never change what I did on that day.

All I can do is try to better it.

JONATHAN HARLEY: So she shares her painful lessons as part of a unique driver education campaign.

At 27, Troy Betts seems like something of a survivor, having lost four friends on the roads.

TROY BETTS: Nine times out of 10, they were speeding.

JONATHAN HARLEY: And has that made you think twice about your own conduct on the road?

TROY BETTS: It did for a while and then you do throw caution to the wind, don't you?

JONATHAN HARLEY: If immediate impact is any measure, Troy Betts has certainly got the message.

TROY BETTS: I don't want to go there.

I just don't want to go there and if they send me there, I don't know what's going to happen.

JONATHAN HARLEY: Troy Betts has since been fined $750 for drink-driving.

As for Rochelle, she will be released from jail next month.

She is not sure whether or not to continue with the driver awareness work in the long-term and despite Bernie Accola's forgiveness, the legacy of what she did will live with her forever.

ROCHELLE JONES: I still live with what I've done.

Every day I live with what I've done.

It's easier now, but only knowing that my victim has survived and he is doing okay.

BERNIE ACCOLA: You can't live a full life, you know, being guilty every day, putting guilt on yourself every day for something that has happened.

It's important that she does achieve peace with herself.


story notes

 present
 
There are two ways of pronouncing the word spelled p-r-e-s-e-n-t (present). Follow the link to listen to them.
 
more information: present

 incarcerated
 
Incarcerated means enclosed, or locked up in a prison.

 offences
 
Offences are crimes.

 made
 
Here made is the past tense of the irregular verb make.
 
more information: make

 life-shattering
 
To shatter means to break into many small pieces. To say something was life-shattering means that it changed a person's life forever.

 told
 
Here told is the past participle of the irregular verb tell.
 
more information: tell

 had been drinking
 
Had been drinking is the past perfect continuous tense, used to talk about something in the past that continued for a time and then finished.
 
more information: past perfect continuous tense (had been thinking)

 lost
 
Here lost is the past tense of the irregular verb lose.
 
more information: lose

 made
 
Here, and in the rest of the sentence, made is the past participle of the irregular verb make.

 convicted
 
To be convicted is to be found guilty of a crime. Follow the link and listen to the way we pronounce convict when it's a verb and when it's a noun.
 
more information: convict

 take for granted
 
not value something because it is always there
 
Example: These days we take electricity for granted.

 mended
 
To mend means to repair.

 plagued with remorse
 
Plagued means troubled. And remorse is deep regret.

 campaign
 
A campaign is a series of actions, with one goal.
 
 
The aim of this campaign is to educate drivers.

 lost
 
Here lost is the past participle of the irregular verb lose.
 
more information: lose

 think twice
 
To think twice means to consider something carefully before you do it.
 
Example: You should think twice about going out with him.

 conduct
 
Conduct is a way of acting or behaviour. Follow the link and listen to another way to use and pronounce this word.
 
more information: conduct

 throw caution to the wind
 
To throw caution to the wind means to do something without worrying about the risks or results.
 
Example: I'm going to throw caution to the wind and move to another city.

 impact
 
An impact is an influence or effect. Follow the link and listen to the different way we pronounce this word when it's used as a verb.
 
more information: impact

 live
 
Follow the link to find out when this word is pronounced differently.
 
more information: live