Jail for dangerous driver who killed woman

·2-min read

A Melbourne man who drove a stolen car into traffic to escape police while high on ice, leading to the death of an elderly woman, has been jailed for 11 years.

Ryan Tulloch, 26, was on a three-day drug binge when he stole a Subaru sedan in Noble Park in June 2019, Victoria's Supreme Court heard on Wednesday.

He was seen running red lights, speeding, driving on the wrong side of the road and crashing into several different vehicles in Camberwell and Box Hill, while sleep-deprived and affected by ice.

Tulloch pulled into a petrol station to fill up but one of the attendants realised the car was stolen and asked him to pre-pay over the speakers, so he got back in the car.

At this point two police officers tried stopping him, with Tulloch reversing on to Canterbury Road, crossing a footpath, while the police yelled at him to stop.

He brushed the car against the officers' legs and sped down the road before reversing into a concrete pole on the nature strip and continuing speeding down the road.

Police followed him as he almost crashed into two vehicles and drove on the wrong side of the road and through a red light, almost hitting a pedestrian.

He lost control of the car on Riversdale Road and drove into oncoming traffic, with a witness seeing the car on its side, sliding, with smoke coming off the front.

Tulloch crashed into a sedan, which hit a parked car, and then drove into a Volkswagen carrying Ian and Betty Sloan with their daughter Jennifer in the back.

Mrs Sloan, 86, was seriously injured and taken to hospital where she died two days later from chest injuries.

Mr Sloan was in hospital for 56 days with fractures to his spine and ribs, while Jennifer injured her sternum, chest, pelvis and legs, and underwent months of rehabilitation.

Following the crash, members of the public helped those inside the cars, one man smashing Tulloch's car windows to help him get out.

Tulloch pushed the man and tried to run away, but police arrived and arrested him.

Tulloch pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury, culpable driving, theft and negligently causing serious injury.

Justice Richard Niall said Tulloch did not appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions and how serious the dangerous driving offences were.

"You had the opportunity to stop. You were indifferent to the risks involved or determined to flee the scene, you paid no regard to other road users," he said.

"By driving on the wrong side of the road, at excessive speed, you placed members of the community at risk of serious injury."

He sentenced Tulloch to 11 years in prison, with a non-parole period of seven years and six months.

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