An 18-year-old coming down off a three-day amphetamine binge when he caused a crash that killed a mother of three has been sentenced to six years and nine months in jail.
Zachary Dexter Travis Smith pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Hocking woman Abigail George-Kennedy on Gnangara Drive in Whiteman on June 15.
Smith was driving a stolen Mitsubishi Magna and had not slept for three days after injecting himself repeatedly with amphetamines when he fell asleep at the wheel and drifted into the path of an oncoming cement truck.
The District Court was told the truck lost control and slewed, crashing into and rolling on top of Mrs George-Kennedy's Daewoo sedan, killing her instantly.
Smith then crashed into another vehicle, the occupants of which helped him get out of the Mitsubishi before he climbed a barb wired fence and fled into a pine plantation. Police arrested him 14 hours later after identifying his palm print on the stolen car.
Smith pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, failing to stop, failing to report the incident, stealing the car from a secure car park in Subiaco a few days prior. He also admitted stealing another car earlier that month.
Mrs George-Kennedy was returning home to get her children off to school after dropping her fly-in fly-out husband at the airport.
In an emotional victim impact statement, Brian George-Kennedy described to the court how his wife's death had left his children shattered and him "totally lost" without the "greatest love of my life" and "soulmate".
He said his wife was kind, vivacious, community-focused and had touched many lives.
"She just loved putting smiles on people's faces," he said.
He said he and his three children faced an unfathomable future, with emotional and financial challenges.
Mr George-Kennedy said his wife kept the family together and he was struggling to fulfill her role, now raising three children alone and not returning to work due to the circumstances surrounding his wife's death.
He said he had to wait 12 hours for a flight home to be with his children after being told of his wife's death.
He said he had no particularly strong feelings towards Smith, but would like him to feel some remorse.
Smith's lawyer Jim Sutherland said his client was remorseful and shocked at his actions, but has accepted responsibility.
The court was told Smith had written a letter to the George-Kennedy family expressing his sorrow and seeking their forgiveness.
The prosecutor said Smith's belated remorse was hollow and that the victim's husband found it ironic that while Smith took drugs to keep awake he now needed medication to help him sleep.
Judge Philip Eaton told Smith's actions were "callous" and "selfish" and not a case of momentary inattention. He took into account Smith's youth and guilty pleas.Smith will be eligible for parole after serving four years and nine months. He was banned from driving for at least two years.
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