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Drunk driver breaks silence over crash

AAP logoAAP 6/12/2016 Sarah Motherwell

The drunk driver who killed skateboarder Ethan Stephenson doesn't remember seeing the teenager before he ran him down on Queensland's Russell Island.

George Holford served nine months of a three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing the 14-year-old's death in 2014.

Holford, who did not provide a statement or participate in a police interview, broke his silence about what happened on the evening of June 7 for the first time at the Brisbane inquest into Ethan's death on Tuesday.

"I didn't feel it, I still felt competent driving," Holford said.

Holford told the court he only had four or five full-strength beer cans in the two hours before he got in the car.

He also maintained he had not been going much over Centre Road's 60km/h speed limit.

"I would have been travelling at the limit I imagine," he said.

The court heard Holford had a blood alcohol level of 0.056 two hours after the accident but Sergeant Graham Staib said the initial roadside breath test, which was not admissible in criminal proceedings, had a reading of about 0.08.

The second breath test was delayed because Sgt Staib, the only on-duty officer on the island, had to wait for mainland back-up before taking Holford to the station.

Holford originally denied to police that he'd hit Ethan because he didn't believe he had and only turned the car around because he heard a noise.

"I thought someone actually threw something or something got flicked up by the tyres," he said.

The court heard Holford's left headlight was broken and he was seen swerving and speeding before the crash, which happened at 5.15pm on a clear, dry day.

But Holford denied the allegations he'd been driving erratically, and said it "played on his mind" that Ethan had been wearing dark clothes and had possibly been on the road.

"I can't imagine what the family or friends would be going through," he said.

"I would like to ask them if I could apologise and ask for forgiveness, even though it's probably out of the question, because sometimes I do find it hard to forgive myself."

The inquest continues.

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