The mayor of Australia’s Redland City, Karen Williams, crashed her car into a tree last week while drunk on “several glasses of wine” one hour after meeting virtually with families of drunk driving victims, Australia’s 9News reported Monday.
“Williams was breath tested by police on June 23 after crashing into a tree around 9pm in Cleveland, Redlands, just north of Brisbane in south-east Queensland,” Australia’s 9News reported on June 27.
“She later apologised and admitted to drinking ‘several glasses of wine’ before getting behind the wheel,” according to the news outlet.
Williams had reportedly met with families of local drunk driving victims over Zoom as part of her official mayoral duties just one hour prior to her car accident.
“I am very sorry for my actions. I don’t actually know how many drinks I had, I had several drinks over a number of hours,” Williams said in a public statement last week.
“One rash decision shouldn’t follow another. I will learn from my mistakes and I will continue to serve my community,” she added.
Redland City Police officers told reporters on June 27 that they were “waiting on Williams’ blood test results” before pursuing criminal charges against her in connection with the June 23 incident, during which she drove off the road before crashing her vehicle into a nearby tree. A photo of the car accident site published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Sunday appeared to show tire marks from William’s automobile on a concrete sidewalk separating the road from a wooded area. Neither Williams nor any other people were injured in the car accident.
Williams has served as the mayor of Redland City since 2012. The community is a part of the Brisbane metropolitan area in Australia’s South East Queensland region. Williams faced increased calls by the public and opposition politicians to step down on Monday over her intoxicated driving incident. Defying the consensus, Williams “confirmed she would not be stepping down from her position,” according to 9News.
“The mayor recently led a parliamentary petition urging a longer sentence for an 18-year-old man convicted of manslaughter over the 2021 deaths of Matthew Field and Kate Leadbetter,” ABC noted on June 26 of Williams.
The broadcaster referred to a 2021 hit-and-run case in southeast Queensland in which a couple was struck by a moving vehicle and killed while walking their dogs. The couple’s unborn son also died in the crash as the woman was 24 weeks pregnant at the time.
Recalling the incident on June 7, ABC wrote:
The now 18-year-old responsible for the crash — who cannot be named as he was a child at the time — was driving a stolen four-wheel drive when it collided with a tow truck, causing it to roll and strike 31-year-old Katherine Leadbetter and her 37-year-old partner, Matthew Field.
The pair, who suffered catastrophic head injuries and died at the scene, had been crossing the intersection in Alexandra Hills, east of Brisbane, while walking their two dogs on Australia Day in 2021.
The teenager was originally facing two counts of murder but during a sentencing hearing in Brisbane on Tuesday [June 7], the Supreme Court was told he had already pleaded guilty to lesser charges of manslaughter earlier this year.