Driver who swerved into and killed cyclist jailed for five years

A suspended Melbourne driver who was on bail when he mowed down and killed a cyclist, then fled the scene, has been jailed for five years.

 

Matthew O'Connor, 28, was driving a Holden ute at West Footscray in June 2016 when he suddenly swerved and hit cyclist Peter McGuffie, 54, who died at the scene.

O'Connor was jailed on Friday in the County Court for a minimum three years, which takes into account the 324 days he has already served in pre-sentence custody.

Matthew O'Connor, 28, was driving a Holden ute at West Footscray in June 2016. Photo: 7 News

Before learning his prison term, O'Connor apologised to McGuffie's family.

"I can't ever imagine how hard it must be for you to deal with and live with it for the rest of your life," he said from the witness stand.

"It's something I now have to live with for the rest of my life."

Judge Peter Wischusen labelled O'Connor's driving "deplorable".

After the crash, O'Connor fled the scene, shedding his clothes as he made his getaway. Photo: 7 News

"The sudden swerve ... is wholly unexplained and quite inexcusable," he said.

After the crash, O'Connor explained he was "just freaking out" when he fled the scene, shedding his clothes as he made his getaway.

At the time, he was on bail for offences including motor vehicle theft, and using and trafficking amphetamines.

O'Connor, who has a history of drug abuse, was disqualified from driving for two years.

Cyclist Peter McGuffie, 54, died at the scene in the 2016 crash. Photo: 7 News

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