The grieving widow of a 43-year-old Horsham father killed in a crash at Vectis two years ago has wept in court as she told a judge how the tragic incident changed her family’s lives forever.
Fiona Jervis, partner of 24-years to Aaron Jervis who was killed in a car crash on May 19, 2014, told County Court Judge Peter Wischusen, during a hearing in Ballarat on Monday, she found it hard to put into words how she felt.
“No one should be dealt a blow like this,” she told the court.
“Aaron had a zest for life.
“But Aaron is now only spoken of in past tense.”
Ms Jervis told the court her sons still struggled without a father in their lives.
“My youngest son had no father to attend a Father’s Day picnic at school in 2014 and 2015, how sad is that,” she said.
“The children will suffer for the rest of their lives, I can tell you it will be longer than any sentence.”
Winston Warrick, 70, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing Mr Jervis’ death.
The court heard Warrick was driving north on Quantong-Cemetery Road before approaching the intersection at Polkemmet Road and colliding with Mr Jervis, who was travelling east along the road.
Travelling at 16km/h through the intersection, Warrick struck the rear door of the victim’s car, causing it to spin and roll a number of times.
Warrick immediately went to assist, but the victim had died before he could help.
He told police he looked for cars as he approached the interception, but couldn’t see the car until the last minute due to trees along the road and the sun hindering his ability to see.
But investigations following the incident ruled the sun was not a significant contributing factor.
Warrick's lawyer told the court his client had been driving for 50 years without incident.
He said Warrick had stopped at the giveway sign, making this case "exceptional".
"For a split second when looking to the left he didn't see the car coming," he said.
Submitting moral culpability should be taken at its lowest, he told the court by stopping, Warrick did not disregard the danger of the intersection.
"The legal advice was that this was defenseable ... But instructions by Warrick was that he wanted to plead guilty. He felt appalled, he will live with this for the rest of his life like many others," the lawyer said.
"It was a tragic, terrible collision.
"Were it possible to lay down his life in turn of the deceased he would.”
Describing Warrick as a community man, he submitted jail was not the only appropriate sentence.
Warrick was assessed for a community corrections order.
Adjourning sentencing until August 5, Judge Wischusen said he wanted to take the time to consider the matter.
“These things are so important, they shouldn’t be rushed,” he said.
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