Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Crash victim’s mum calls for drink driving Redland Mayor to resign

Redland City Council will meet today for discussions on the future of embattled Mayor, Karen Williams, who has admitted to getting behind the wheel and crashing her car after drinking “several” glass of wine following a meeting with victims of crime last Thursday night.

Mayor Williams is a prominent advocate for families of victims killed by drunk drivers on Queensland roads and had been working to strengthen juvenile crime laws in the state.

On live television this morning, road safety advocate Judy Lindsay, whose 20-year-old daughter, Hayley (pictured, below) was killed by a drunk driver in 2009, called on the Mayor to resign from Council.

Ms Lindsay was a participant in an online call with Mayor Williams, along with other families grieving the loss of loved ones at the hands of drunk drivers, in the hours before the Mayor’s drunken crash.

She said she was shocked to hear news of the Mayor’s drink driving incident.

“My heart just sunk. I trusted you,” she said on Channel Nine’s Today show today.

“[Mayor Williams] rang me crying Friday night saying, “I’m so sorry. It’s unacceptable what I’ve done”.

“I said [to her] I can’t have any contact with you any more. You can’t be doing the job you’re doing. I trusted you and this is what you’ve done.

“She’s gotta go. She has no respect for anybody in this community by doing what she’s done.

“Having a zoom meeting with us, wouldn’t that stop you from getting in the car drunk and driving a half an hour after having a meeting with us?” Ms Lindsay implored.

With the help of Ms Lindsay and the families of slain couple, Matthew Field and Kate Leadbetter, who were tragically struck and killed by a stolen car driven by a teen under the influence of drugs and alcohol in 2021, Mayor Williams was the principal petitioner behind an online petition to appeal the sentence of the driver, which has so far received more than 50,000 signatures. 

The Mayor has so far refused to resign but has stepped down from her role on the Brisbane Organising Committee for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as confirmed by Brisbane Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner. 

Redland Mayor, Karen Williams speaks with media on Friday.

A number of Redland councillors have since called on the Mayor to resign.

In a social media post, Councillor Adelia Berridge said: “I have immense respect for our CEO and the team he leads. I called him today to discuss my situation and advise him I’m now publicly requesting for the mayor to resign. I had hoped I would not have to do this, but the CEO can’t ask for her resignation. I have previously raised three complaints including the CCC about the booze parties and I hope now this will change.”

Mayor Williams says she will continue to cooperate with the police investigation into the crash.

“There are no excuses for my actions. I made a serious error of judgement and I am deeply sorry for my actions,” she said on Friday.

When asked if she understood how her actions could be seen as disrespectful and hypocritical to the public and the families of drunk driver victims she had met with that day, the Mayor simply repeated her earlier repeated response to questions.

She did, however, admit that she did not know how many drinks to had consumed prior to getting behind the wheel.

“I’m very sorry for my actions. I don’t actually know how many drinks I had. I had several drinks over a number of hours and I worked late into the night,” the Mayor said.

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