Rushed driver jailed for killing retiree

·2-min read

Jacob Hague saw a doctor about chest pains hours before he struck and killed a motorcyclist on a Victorian highway.

The 36-year-old was told to go straight to hospital but did not follow this advice, instead heading to work for a three-hour meeting.

One hour after leaving the office, rushing home so his wife could take him to hospital, Hague killed Stephen Troman on the South Gippsland Highway in Melbourne's southeast.

Troman, a 67-year-old retiree who had been out riding his Harley Davidson with friends, died at the scene in October 2019.

Hague on Thursday faced the Victorian County Court, where he was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death.

He must serve at least two-and-a-half years before becoming eligible for parole.

The court heard Hague had a family history of cardiac issues and was concerned he may have a heart attack after suffering from chest pains, dizziness and shortness of breath.

Witnesses told police Hague appeared agitated, aggressive and impatient on the road before the crash.

Judge Frances Hogan said while Hague had been in a heightened state of stress and anxiety, he should never have been behind the wheel.

She said Mr Troman, a father of three, had been enjoying the "fruits of retirement" when his life was needlessly ended by Hague's driving.

But she accepted the 36-year-old had shown deep and genuine remorse, at one point telling his father he would trade his own life for Mr Troman's.

"My impression is that you are riddled with guilt and remorse to an almost debilitating degree," Judge Hogan said.

"You appear to be a genuinely broken man."

Hague was not speeding and had not consumed drugs or alcohol.

He told a witness at the scene he never saw the motorbike coming.

A reconstruction expert said Hague should have had about 200m of sight down the highway.

"I cannot explain why (Hague) failed to give way to the motorcycle," he said.