Driver jailed for overtaking semitrailer, killing friend
A MAN who illegally overtook a semitrailer and crashed, killing his friend, has been jailed for dangerous driving.
Biao Yang, 28, pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay District Court to dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death.
Crown prosector Clayton Wallis said Yang crossed a solid centre line on the Bruce Hwy near Torbanlea on December 17, 2010, while attempting to overtake a semitrailer.
Yang drove straight into oncoming traffic, smashing into a Toyota driven by Howard couple Alf and Pat Claxton.
The passenger of Yang's vehicle, Paul Dennis Pink, was killed and Mr and Mrs Claxton suffered injuries.
Defence barrister John Fraser said Yang had faced the family of the man he killed and attended the funeral, and had shown genuine remorse over his actions.
Mr Fraser said it was important to note there were no allegations of excessive speeding, alcohol or drug use, or that Yang's dangerous driving took place over a prolonged period.
Mr Fraser noted his client had not re-offended at all in the two years since the crash.
He asked that his client be allowed the benefit of a suspended prison sentence, or immediate parole rather than having to serve any time.
Judge Hugh Botting said he had to impose a sentence which made clear society's denunciation of those who drive dangerously on our roads.
"We are all very conscious of the road toll," he said.
He said he carefully considered the hardship Yang's wife and two young children would face if Yang went to jail, and also the mental anguish Yang himself had faced.
Ultimately, Judge Botting felt time in prison was the only appropriate sentence, considering the serious consequences of Yang's driving.
In crossing the solid centre-line to overtake, Yang attempted a dangerous, illegal manoeuvre and could not be said to have crashed because of "momentary inattention".
"The real vice of what you did was to cross that line," Judge Botting said.
Judge Botting ordered a 30-month prison sentence, with Yang to serve three months in custody.
After this, he will be released with the remaining 27 months to be served as a suspended sentence.