Teen gets 18 months for fatal SA crash

Tim Dornin

The family of a mother of two killed in a fiery, high-speed car crash has questioned the justice in a sentence that will allow the teenage driver of a stolen ute to be released in just 10 months.

Nicole Tucker, 48, died at an intersection in Adelaide's south in October last year when her car was hit by the high-powered ute travelling at 160km/h.

The 15-year-old behind the wheel was sentenced to at least 18 months on Thursday after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving with a District Court judge describing his offending at "horrifying".

But with time already spent in custody, the teenager will be eligible for parole in 10 months.

Although sentenced as an adult, the teenager, now 16, will serve the rest of his time in custody in a youth detention facility.

Ms Tucker's brother Kent Thiele said the family knew no sentence would ever seem enough, but couldn't help feeling the result was unjust.

"We were hoping for some justice today, but I don't think we got it," he told reporters.

"It's very unfair. But no sentence would be adequate for somebody's life."

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said the sentence imposed on the boy seemed "very lenient" for what was a very serious crime.

He said Attorney-General John Rau had called for a briefing on the case and would carefully consider the outcome.

Judge Joanne Tracey ruled that the teenager's offending was at the extreme end of the scale of seriousness for such crimes and said the choices he made had a devastating impact on many people.

"Their lives have been changed for the worst, forever," she said.

At the time of the crash, the teen had a 17-year-old passenger in the car with him. That boy was dealt with in the Youth Court after pleading guilty to theft and various driving offences.

The two boys stole the high-powered ute from a home in Adelaide's south and were tracked on the city's Southern Expressway at speeds of more than 210km/h.

The ute was still travelling at an estimated 160km/h when it hit the side of Ms Tucker's car, pushing it across an intersection into two other cars.

Ms Tucker's car then burst into flames and she died in the wreckage.

Mr Thiele said her family would mourn her loss for the rest of their lives.

"Nicole was everything. She was the glue for our family," he said.