Drunk driver jailed for crash that killed teen, pregnant woman and unborn twins

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read

A drunk driver who killed a teenage girl and a heavily pregnant woman with her unborn twins in a Sydney car crash has been jailed for at least 10 years.

Richard Moananu, 31, pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and one count of aggravated driving causing grievous bodily harm in the District Court at Penrith, and asked Judge Mark Buscombe to take a number of other matters into account

Judge Buscombe described Moananu's conduct as "disgraceful and appalling" and that he was speeding with four times the legal limit of alcohol in his system showed a total disregard for all road users that day.

Katherine Hoang and Bronko Hoang were involved in the crash in September 2018.
Katherine Hoang, pictured with husband Bronko, was heavily pregnant with twins at the time of the crash. Source: 7News

"To drive in his state of intoxication and over such distance... meant that it was almost inevitable that a tragedy such as what occurred, occurred," he said during his sentencing on Thursday.

Bronko Hoang is the sole survivor of the collision after his heavily pregnant wife Katherine and a 17-year-old learner driver died after Moananu's car ploughed into theirs in Orchard Hills, western Sydney, in September 2018.

When Mr Hoang awoke from a coma in hospital, he said the nurses had to "tie him down" as they continually reminded him of what happened.

Moananu had been drinking from 10.30am to 6.45pm on the day of the crash and returned a .204 blood alcohol reading.

Bronko Hoang (centre), the husband of Katherine Hoang, leaves with family and supporters at the Penrith District Court. Source: AAP
Bronko Hoang centre, the husband of Katherine Hoang, leaves with family and supporters at the Penrith District Court in October. Source: AAP

He was driving on an expired licence when he veered onto the wrong side of the road, travelling more than 45km/h over the speed limit.

Witnesses saw Moananu's car weave in and out of traffic, fail to indicate properly, run a red light and drive over a grassy median strip before it became airborne.

One witness said he was travelling at a "ridiculous speed" and it appeared "he was flying," while another said it was "the most craziest thing I've ever seen anyone do".

The judge accepted Moananu, who told the court he wished it was him who died that day, showed genuine remorse for the devastating consequences of his actions, and that his significantly disadvantaged upbringing likely affected his decision-making skills.

Moananu was sentenced to a maximum term of 15 years in prison and will be first eligible for parole in September 2028.

The family and friends of Katherine Hoang leave the Penrith District Court, in October. Source: AAP
The family and friends of Katherine Hoang leave the Penrith District Court in October. Source: AAP

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