Dangerous driver who killed biker jailed for a week
A BRISBANE motorist whose dangerous turn killed a 22-year-old motorcyclist at Logan Village in June 2018 will only serve the week he spent in the watch house behind bars, after a non-custodial sentence was handed down in court.
Benjamin Baumann died at the intersection of Waterford Tamborine Rd and Anzac Ave just after 8pm on June 15, 2018, when Tingalpa man Tye Matthew McLeod, 26, turned right on a broken arrow across lanes of oncoming traffic and into the path of Mr Baumann, who struck the back tray of McLeod's 3.5 tonne Hyundai dump truck.
Mr Baumann sustained a broken neck, broken wrist, broken teeth, a significant laceration on his stomach and his tongue was almost severed in the impact.
His mother, Jutta, and sister, Tamara, both read the court harrowing victim impact statements.
Jutta said she had lost her "little handyman" around her home and no longer had reasons to buy Starburst lollies, Mr Baumann's favourite.
Tamara said her "insides turned out", literally and figuratively, when she heard her baby brother had died.
The court heard McLeod was unaware he had been involved in an accident, as the intersection was bumpy due to roadworks, and it wasn't until several weeks later, on July 5, that McLeod was made aware via his sister that police were desperately hunting his employer's truck.
During his interview, McLeod told police he wasn't in an accident and was "none the wiser" as to his role in events.
There was significant debate in court as to how much Mr Baumann's manner of driving contributed to his own death.
Analysis after his death revealed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.119 per cent (mid-range) and a witness estimated Mr Baumann was travelling at about 100 - 110 km/h in the lead-up to the accident (the speed limit had been reduced from 80 km/h to 60 km/h due to the roadworks.
However, this witness evidence was inconsistent with data from a nearby 'Slow for SAM' monitor, which showed the maximum speed recorded in the lead-up to the accident was 69 km/h.
In the end, Judge Craig Chowdhury said although Mr Baumann was drink-driving and on the balance of probabilities was speeding in the lead-up to the accident, his contribution to the accident was minimal and the substantive cause of death was McLeod's dangerous turn.
He told the court he was "sick and tired" of cases where motorists die due to a "moment's inattention".
"You didn't mean to cause this death, there's no criminal intent," he told McLeod in the glass dock.
Judge Chowdhury said sentencing these sorts of cases is "particularly difficult" and noted this was an "unusual case" due to it being accepted McLeod genuinely wasn't aware he'd been in an accident.
Judge Chowdhury also commented this was a rare sort of dangerous driving causing death case where the defendant, in this case McLeod, is "genuinely remorseful".
He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
McLeod was sentenced to the week in jail he already served plus court-ordered parole for the years.
His partner burst into tears when she heard he would spend no actual time in custody apart from the initial week. Jutta and Tamara sat in stony-faced silence.