Woman jailed for nine months for hit-and-run on teen while high on prescription drugs

A woman with three different prescription drugs in her system fled after driving into a 16-year-old boy in Melbourne and leaving him convulsing with a serious head injury.

 

Rachael Boomsma, 48, initially stopped at the Mount Martha accident scene, but panicked and drove away, leaving teenager Jarrah Smith unconscious.

On Friday she was jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to failing to stop at an accident.

"You panicked and you've driven away without saying anything," Judge John Carmody said during sentencing in the County Court of Victoria.

"You elected to drive off and leave your victim's welfare to others."

Rachael Boomsma (centre) was sentenced to nine months in prison. Source: 7 News

Jarrah was walking along the road on August 10, 2016 when a friend, a learner driver, drove past with his parents.

The trio pulled over and called to Jarrah to see if he wanted a ride home.

The boy was reaching for his mobile phone when a green Toyota Landcruiser drove diagonally and hit him, throwing him into the air and onto the side of the road.

Boomsma, who suffers bipolar disorder, initially pulled over on the side of the road behind Jarrah's friend and his parents before driving off.

Jarrah Smith suffered a serious head injury from the incident. Source: 7 News

Jarrah was left convulsing and unconscious, suffering a head injury, hip fracture and post-traumatic amnesia.

After being rushed to hospital by helicopter, Jarrah spent 11 days in an induced coma.

Police found Boomsma later on the day of the accident, parked beside a school asleep in her car.

She was arrested and had a blood sample taken, which showed "therapeutic levels" of sedative diazepam, bipolar medication quetiapine and depression/anxiety medication duloxetine in her system.

Judge Carmody said the drugs would have slowed Boomsma's reaction time, impaired her perception and affected her ability to focus on complex tasks such as driving.

Jarrah previously told the court he woke in hospital, not knowing where or who he was.

All of his childhood memories of family holidays had been "erased" and his "brain power" had been weakened.

In addition to a jail sentence, Boomsma must also undergo a two-year community corrections order for dangerous driving causing serious injury.

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