High driver says sorry to family for death

·3-min read

A drug addict has apologised in court to the family he "ruined" by fatally crashing into their teenage son who was walking along a footpath to play soccer in Sydney's south.

Cameron Forsyth, 38, faced a sentence hearing in the Downing Centre's District Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death under the influence of drugs.

The mother of 17-year-old Adam Ghoz, who was walking to sports practice along the Hume Highway in Casula on January 7, 2021, spoke of the moment her life was turned upside down.

Rima Ghoz had touched down in Lebanon to visit her sick sister, a statement spoken on her behalf read.

She messaged all her children and they all wrote back, except for Adam.

While he was dying in hospital from critical injuries, Ms Ghoz could not return home in time due to COVID-19 quarantine restrictions.

Now she visits his grave every day, no matter the weather, as she deals with the "highest level of grief a person could experience", losing a child.

"Adam was loved by everyone", so special and kind-hearted he invited a bullied child into his school friendship circle, without him knowing, she said.

The family used to gather for every meal but now hide away from each other in pain, and no longer feel safe after Adam died on a clear day, just walking on a footpath, she said.

Giving evidence Forsyth described himself as a high-functioning drug addict since a teenager, on and off heroin-replacement substance therapies before the fatal crash.

Four months earlier he had nodded off and run into the back of a car but was never charged and returned to opioid replacement therapy, he said.

But a phone argument on January 7 with his partner triggered childhood memories of a traumatic incident, and he went to his dealer's house for a "big shot" of heroin.

The next thing he remembers is waking up after his car had mounted a kerb, a man telling him "I think you've hurt someone," and seeing a teenager being administered first aid.

He will never forget this vision, he told the family in a letter to the court.

"There is no way to justify the charge I stand here for ... I cannot begin to imagine the pain and grief I have caused."

He apologised to Adam's friend who was walking beside him that day, to the first responders, to his friends and teachers, and to the wider community.

"I've ruined my family, I've ruined another family.

"The only thing I can do in Adam's memory is to better myself as a human.

"I hope in time they can find inner peace or find comfort in my feelings of guilt and burden (that) is something I will carry for the rest of my life."

Since entering custody Forsyth has completed drug programs and undergone psychological treatment for his past trauma.

He denied lying about his circumstances to garner sympathy from the judge to gain a more lenient sentence.

But he agreed he had lied following the car crash to police about not taking drugs that day.

In a video played before the court, he said he was "completely out of it" while telling a highway patrol officer the car mounted a nature strip and slid when he hit the breaks, before hitting a couple of posts.

"I didn't even see the guy."

Judge Ian McClintock is due to sentence Forsyth on May 27.

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