‘I’ve lost the love of my life’: Wife faces crash driver
Dad-of-four Brian Carter was riding to collect equipment for a family holiday that would never eventuate when he was hit and killed by a driver who has walked from court.
Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin said he read "harrowing" statements from Mr Carter's family before sentencing Rita Marilla Leon to three months in jail, suspended for two years.
"Not just one life was taken away that day but there were so many," Mr Carter's wife Alana wrote in a statement.
Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Tuesday heard Leon, 47, didn't spot Mr Carter riding his motorbike on Nambour Connection Rd at Parklands on June 26 last year.
"Mr Carter struck the driver's side door and was thrown over the vehicle and landed 10m away from the crash site," prosecutor Nichale Bool said.
She said Leon failed to exercise sufficient care and attention when she did not give way to Mr Carter, 37.
He later died in hospital.
The court heard Leon was knocked unconscious during the crash which she couldn't remember.
Ms Bool read aloud the statement from Mrs Carter who said her life had been torn apart.
"We can barely keep our heads above water. It is an hourly struggle," Mrs Carter said.
"Our brains cannot function, process or absorb and daily tasks we found with ease before are now impossible.
"We do not know how to go on.
"I've lost the love of my life and our children's dad."
Leon told the court she had read statements from Alana and her family repeatedly.
She pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of driving without due care and attention causing death.
Defence lawyer Steven Brough said Leon, who had no criminal history, would feel guilt for the rest of her life.
"Her remorse is genuine and heartfelt …" he said.
Mr Brough said Leon worked full time which would make it difficult for her to complete community service and she could risk losing her job.
Magistrate McLaughlin agreed, adding that a fine was also inappropriate because it would put a price on Mr Carter's life.
He accepted that Leon had no intention of harming Mr Carter.
"The result of your offence though is a tragedy," Mr McLaughlin said.
"A family man with four young children has been taken away."
The court heard Mr Carter was wearing a fluoro vest at the time of the crash.
"You could say a motorbike rider could not do anymore to advertise his presence on the road," Mr McLaughlin said.
He disqualified Leon from driving for one year and recorded a conviction.