Crystalea Blackaby as she was led from a police aircraft to a paddy wagon at Mackay Airport in December 2008.
Crystalea Blackaby as she was led from a police aircraft to a paddy wagon at Mackay Airport in December 2008. Tony Martin

Blackaby to be released next year

THE very drunk and disqualified driver who killed Norman Freeman, the brother of Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman, in a crash at Slade Point will be released from prison in August next year.

Crystalea Blackaby, 23, was jailed for seven years today but will be released on parole after serving 18 months.

She has been banned for life from holding a driver’s licence.

Blackaby was 22 years old when the crash occurred, had never held a driver’s licence in her life, had three previous convictions for drink-driving and five previous offences for disqualified driving.

She had been released from prison for a disqualified driving offence just six weeks before the fatality.

Blackaby pleaded guilty in the District Court in Mackay today to dangerous driving causing the death of Norman Freeman while she was adversely affected by liquor (0.227%) on Slade Point Road on September 16 last year, and driving while disqualified.

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