Driver jailed after taking eyes off road, hitting cyclist
A driver who ran over a cyclist after briefly taking her eyes off the road to change the music playing in her car will spend nine months in jail.
Emma Kent, 24, sobbed throughout today's sentencing hearing, and looked shocked as a judge announced her punishment.
She pleaded guilty in the County Court to a charge of dangerous driving causing the death of Gareth Davies, 57, on Black Forest Drive at Macedon last December 10.
Mr Davies was run down as Kent tried to connect her mobile phone's Bluetooth to the car's audio system.
She told police she was distracted for about 10 seconds.
"I was pressing play, changing from the radio to music on the (phone's) radio," she said.
"That's what I was doing that distracted me."
Police ruled out drugs, alcohol, fatigue, or speed as being factors in the crash.
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Judge Sue Pullen said Mr Davies's death was due entirely to Kent's inattention.
While noting Kent's expressions of guilt and remorse, she said a non-custodial sentence would be "manifestly unsuitable".
"The distress to both families - Mr Davies's and your own - is evident," she said. "But their loss is permanent."
Mr Davies's daughters told the court of their loss at a hearing two weeks ago.
"In the first 24 hours after I found out, it felt like the world and my life was ending," Rhia Davies said.
"I cannot put into words the amount of complete, consuming rage I feel towards the accused."
Her younger sister, Ffion, said she was haunted by the memory of having to give her grandmother the news. She said: "After my dad was killed, my whole world fell apart."
Bicycle Network boss Craig Richards said Mr Davies's death was a costly lesson to drivers to keep their eyes on the road at all times.
"There are no winners in terrible situations like this.
"A young woman is in prison, a partner, father and son has been lost forever, and the bike-riding community is feeling the pain of another lost life," Mr Richards said.
After Kent is released from jail she must serve a two-year Community Corrections Order, during which she must complete 100 hours of unpaid community service.
She must also submit to a mental health assessment and complete driver awareness programs.
Her driver's licence was cancelled for two years.