A truck driver whose prime mover ploughed into a car, pushing it into a paddock and crushing its driver, has been jailed for more than three years.
A District Court sentencing hearing was today told Jacob Eli Davis, 37, was not keeping a “proper lookout” for other cars when he caused the horror crash that killed mother-of-two Thi Tuyet Vo in 2015.
The court was told in the moments before her death, Ms Vo had stopped her Toyota Camry on Wanneroo Road in Nowergup and had indicated to turn right.
Another driver came to stop behind Ms Vo as she waited for her chance to turn but just as she went to accelerate, Davis’ prime mover smashed into her car from behind.
The truck, which was carrying bricks and a forklift, weighing about 42 1/2 tonnes, pushed the sedan sideways across the road and took out a wooden power pole.
When the vehicles eventually came to a rest in a paddock, the truck tipped over and crushed the sedan, killing Ms Vo.
Davis, who was found guilty of dangerous driving occasioning death after a trial last month, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years behind bars.
Defence lawyer Anthony Eyers said his client had lost concentration for only a matter of seconds before the fatal collision.
Prosecutor David Jubb said Davis had a “very heavy” responsibility to drive the truck safely and to the conditions of the road.
“It was a significant failure to keep a proper lookout (which had) disastrous consequences,” he said.
At the trial, Davis argued his view was obstructed by a sweeping bend and that there was a problem with the semi-trailer’s brakes.
But sentencing Davis, Judge Stephen Scott said Davis was familiar with the road and given his elevated driving position, he would have had a clear view.
Judge Scott added Davis was an experienced truck driver and he would have noticed if the brakes were faulty.
“I am satisfied, for whatever reason, you were not keeping a proper lookout,” he said.
Referring to victim impact statements provided to the court by Ms Vo’s family, Judge Scott said it was clear her death had had a “profound effect” on her husband and their two children.
Davis will be made eligible for parole after serving 21 months of his sentence.
His driver’s licence will be suspended for five years from the date of his release.