Vic drug driver jailed over fatal crash

Jacqueline Le

A mother-of-two was sleep deprived and had multiple drugs in her system when her car drifted into the opposite lane and caused a crash that killed a Victorian woman and left a man permanently brain injured.

After the fatal crash near Stawell in 2014, Clerissa Stocker told police "I don't know, I think I fell asleep".

She also admitted to police she had been using illicit drugs and tested positive for methamphetamine, amphetamine, and cannabis.

"The drug levels in your blood after the collision were relatively high," Victorian County Court judge Elizabeth Gaynor said on Tuesday.

On top of the drugs in her system, Stocker only had about four hours sleep before she got into the car with her two young sons on March 30, 2014.

"This negatively impacted your ability to drive the car," the judge said.

Stocker was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison, with a non-parole period of two years and 10 months, after earlier pleading guilty to one charge of dangerous driving causing death and another charge of dangerous driving causing serious injury.

"This was a terrible and tragic accident involving the death of a beloved family member and the disablement of another," Judge Gaynor said.

The court heard that after she fell asleep at the wheel, her car veered into the opposite lane on the Western Highway and struck Geoffrey and Kathryn Cassells' vehicle.

Ms Cassells, 51, died at the scene, while her husband sustained a traumatic brain injury and fractured two vertebrae.

He now requires full-time care and his family says the once active and vibrant CFA volunteer will never be the same.

"He's in a really perpetually bad place," stepdaughter Melinda Dime said outside court.

"Some would say his life has been lost as well."

Ms Dime said Stocker had not shown any remorse throughout the proceedings.

"She has sat there and not made one noise," she said.

"She has shown zero remorse throughout this whole process."

Ms Dime also thinks the sentence Stocker received is too lenient.

"It's inadequate. One person has died, another person has basically died, left in full-time care."

Stocker has also been disqualified from having a licence for six years.