Moment crash victim's son came face to face with driver
EMOTIONAL scenes unfolded outside Maryborough Magistrates Court on Tuesday after a driver responsible for a fatal crash was given a suspended jail sentence.
Xi Ling, 26, who had pleaded guilty to one count of driving without due care or attention, causing death, approached the family of the Apple Tree Creek grandmother killed in the crash.
Rhonda Kay, 58, died in the Tiaro accident that also left her husband Phillip seriously injured.
Her family was in court to see Ling sentenced.
The court heard Ling was driving a blue sedan on July 16 and was the sole occupant of the vehicle.
For unknown reasons, Ling suddenly crossed the centre line near Tiaro and collided with the Ford SUV that was being driven by Mrs Kay.
She died at the scene, while both her husband and Ling were seriously injured and flown to hospital for further treatment.
Ling was not believed to speeding and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, the court heard.
All parties were found to have been wearing seatbelts.
Ling had lost 50 per cent of his small bowel and 20kg when he was being treated in hospital.
The court heard Ling had called Policelink in an effort to make contact with Mrs Kay's family so he could apologise.
He had not been given their contact information for privacy reasons, but had since written a letter to the court expressing his remorse.
Magistrate Kurt Fowler said he understood Mrs Kay was loved, appreciated and sorely missed.
"Nothing I can say can replace Rhonda or minimise her loss to the family unit," he said.
Ling was disqualified from driving for six months and received a suspended term of imprisonment of three months, operational for 18 months.
A conviction was recorded.
Outside the court, Ling approached Mrs Kay's family through his lawyer.
He spoke with Mrs Kay's son, Tim Kay, outside the court, finally making the apology he had waited months to make.
The two men shook hands.