Woman, 77, given suspended jail sentence after fatal crash
A 77-YEAR-old woman with a hitherto flawless traffic history has pleaded guilty to the dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death.
Hervey Bay's Janice Mary Durrington lost control of her vehicle in the car park of Pialba's Woolworths store on June 6 last year.
The Hervey Bay District Court heard Durrington was still confused about how the accident happened, but she believed she had pressed down on the accelerator rather than the brake.
In a state of panic, she failed to remove her foot from the accelerator and crashed into two cars and a pole before hitting Rex Wilson, 81.
Mr Wilson died from extensive head injuries in Hervey Bay Hospital.
The court heard that before the incident, Durrington had an unblemished traffic and criminal history.
She handed in her licence immediately after the crash and had not driven since.
Judge Hugh Botting said the case was "one of those sad cases that come before the court".
He said the victim's family had to live with the knowledge that he was taken from them earlier than he should have been.
Judge Botting said it was important the sentence reflected the seriousness of the outcome of the accident.
He commented on the "eloquent" victim impact statement written by Mr Wilson's daughter, Debbie Cresswell, and also on the apology expressed in a letter from Durrington to the victim's family.
Durrington was sentenced to two years jail, wholly suspended, with an operational period of three years.