The family of a promising young footballer who received shocking injuries when the car he was a passenger in hit a horse near Mt Barker is suing the driver.
Warrick Proudlove was in Harley Burridge's Holden Commodore when it hit a runaway horse on Albany Highway in July 2011.
The Claremont footballer and former Albany resident received serious head injuries, is now unable to speak and requires full-time care.
In the District Court yesterday, Mr Proudlove's lawyer Theo Lampropoulos argued Mr Burridge was not keeping a close eye on the road when he hit the horse.
"We would point to the communications on the way down as being indicative of a driver who was not paying proper attention," he said.
Mr Lampropoulos referred to a text message Mr Burridge sent to his best friend, who was also travelling along Albany Highway on the night, which said: "Catch me if you can, I'm the gingerbread man".
Mr Proudlove was travelling to Albany with Mr Burridge to visit family and friends after moving to Perth to chase his AFL dream.
Three other cars were involved in the crash but Mr Proudlove was the only person seriously injured.
Mr Burridge was aged 17 at the time and had received his car about a week earlier.
Witness Susan Tremayne stopped on the side of Albany Highway minutes before the crash after she saw two horses covered in dark-coloured rugs on the road. She told the court she was standing in the middle of the road trying to flag down Mr Burridge's car when he drove past.
Ms Tremayne said she had put on her hazard lights, taken off her coat to reveal a white long-sleeved shirt and was waving her arms.
But Mr Burridge's lawyer Gail Archer said it was the defence's position that Ms Tremayne was not standing in the middle of the road at the time.
Judge Richard Keen travelled to the Great Southern earlier this week to view the crash scene at night and during the day.