Grieving family calls for amendments to the law
THE family of Mackay grandmother Audrey Dow has made a heartfelt plea to the Central Queensland Coroner to recommend changes to the law for careless, disqualified or suspended drivers.
Still mourning her sudden and tragic death in July 2013, her family said it was "a travesty" the man responsible for the fatal traffic crash that claimed Mrs Dow's life received "what we feel is an inadequate sentence".
Aaron Kite knew he was disqualified from driving by a court order when he got behind the wheel prior to the crash.
This couldn't be taken into consideration when he was sentenced for careless driving in September last year.
Forensic evidence suggested the vehicle Mr Kite was driving drifted at least a metre into the incorrect lane when his driver's side front struck the driver's side front of Mrs Dow's vehicle in a head-on collision on Mulherin Dr.
"He may not have set out to kill someone but the fact is his careless actions and blatant disregard for his disqualification still did kill someone," Mrs Dow's daughter, Angela Meiklejohn, said at the Coronial Inquest into her mother's death.
Further forensic evidence also indicated Mr Kite's seatbelt wasn't secured at the time of the crash.
An analysis of his phone revealed several calls were made between 2.59pm and 3.20pm when a 000 call was made in relation to the crash, the Coronial Court was told.
While being questioned yesterday he denied being on the phone at the time of the crash and said he'd been fiddling with the air-conditioner switch.
When John Aberdeen, counsel assisting Coroner David O'Connell, said it was the first time he'd heard this evidence, Mr Kite said he had told police officers on the day.
However, that wasn't heard when a voice recording between a first response officer and Mr Kite was played for the court.
Mr Kite did tell the officer he'd been driving in the correct lane and indicated he wasn't talking on the phone in the recording.
He said numerous times he "can't recall" the crash as he was "dazed" from being struck by the airbag.
Mr Kite said he could offer no reason why the car he was driving drifted into the incorrect lane.