Perth teen driver dodges jail over death


A 21-year-old man who killed a 17-year-old motorcyclist from New Zealand by driving on the wrong side of a dark semi-rural road in Perth's south has avoided an immediate jail term.

Oscar Graetz was 18 and on his P-plates when he momentarily swerved over broken white lines into the oncoming lane of the Hopeland road in April 2015, killing Logan Daniel Cant almost immediately.

The District Court of WA heard Graetz was using cruise control to comply with the 100km/h speed limit, was not under the influence of alcohol nor skylarking with his 17-year-old brother, whom he had picked up from TAFE.

He had been speaking with his mother on the phone before the crash, but used hands-free.

Mr Cant was speeding at 115km/h, but Graetz should have been looking out for kangaroos and livestock that often wander on to the road, Judge Julie Wager said on Friday.

A jury unanimously found Graetz guilty of dangerous driving causing death and the prosecution said that demonstrated their acceptance of the state's case he had significantly breached the standards expected of a competent driver.

Judge Wager said Graetz was remorseful but not taking responsibility because he admitted everything but the quality of his driving.

"It was your conduct that led to the death," she said.

The court heard Mr Cant, who aspired to be a skydiving instructor, had only been in Australia for three weeks to work on a dairy farm.

Graetz, who is studying fashion design, was sentenced to a two-year suspended jail term and had his drivers' licence disqualified for two-and-a-half years.

Outside court, a close family friend of Graetz said a moment's inattention could have tragic outcomes for any driver.