Family angry after cyclist's hit-run death

·3-min read

Ann Bridgewater starts each of her days the same - kissing a photograph of her dead husband and wishing she could kiss him in person.

Much-loved grandfather David Thomson, 60, died on October 21 last year, after a car struck his bike on La Trobe Street in Delacombe, near Ballarat.

The driver, 40-year-old Bradley John Spark, crossed over to the wrong side of the road and left Mr Thomson for dead, speeding off back to his residence and later agreeing to hide his damaged vehicle in a paddock.

Mr Thomson's family spoke on Friday of their heartache and anger, with his wife saying she and her husband did everything together, side by side.

They had plans to travel overseas and many dreams for their retirement. She felt "robbed", having waited 45 years to find the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.

Ms Bridgewater cried herself to sleep most nights, she said.

"Death changes everything. It's just not fun like it once was. I hate it," she told the County Court of Victoria in a victim impact statement.

"I wish I had the chance to hold him so he wasn't alone."

Ms Bridgewater said she may have one day forgiven Spark if he had stopped to help her husband, but couldn't as that never happened.

Mr Thomson's son, Dylan Thomson, condemned Spark as a "spineless" perpetrator who committed an unforgivable crime. His father was the most important and influential person in his life, he said.

"He was taken away from us in a way that you would not wish on anyone," he said.

Mr Thomson was flung some 21 metres when Spark's sedan struck him. His friends recalled driving past the scene of the crash, not knowing it was their mate.

His daughter, Sophie Thomson, is a police officer and recalled attending the scene of her father's death. She said she'd never forget seeing him under a white sheet on the road.

She encouraged the court to think about how often the word "dad" comes up, for instance, on the radio. "I am reminded nearly hourly I no longer have a father," she said.

For Ms Thomson, that meant no one to walk her down the aisle at her wedding or to chase around her future children.

Spark accepted he would serve a considerable jail term, his barrister Christopher Carr said.

He was released on parole a few months before the crash and found the forced stability and abstinence was the best thing for him, but reconnected with people he'd put behind him after a friend took their own life.

Mr Carr said Spark was remorseful about his actions and the victim impact statements had broken his heart.

Spark was suspended from driving at the time of the crash and the Mitsubishi he was driving was unregistered.

He has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, failing to stop at the scene of the crash, and failing to render Mr Thomson assistance. He is awaiting sentencing in November this year.