News

Driver jailed over Gold Nugget crash that killed Coast mum

Crime scene investigator with Police tape.
Crime scene investigator with Police tape. Brett Wortman

THERE were no winners, just tears and grief when Ricky Allan Bishop was jailed for causing a Bruce Hwy crash at Gympie's notorious Gold Nugget intersection, which killed Sunshine Coast mother Kirsty Mae Field.

Bishop, 40, had his head in his hands throughout most of Monday's sentence and sobbed as he embraced family members before being led away to start his time in jail.

There had also been tears from Ms Field's family members, particularly when details were read of how their lives had changed for the worse since the crash just south of Gympie about 6pm on June 27, last year.

"It's just a catastrophe," Judge John Robertson said.

"It can't be described."

Ms Field, 27, was waiting to turn right into the Golden Nugget Caltex Service Station from the southbound lane of the highway when delivery driver Bishop's rigid truck crashed into her from behind.

There were no skid marks.

The impact had enough force to throw her vehicle 260m into the oncoming lanes.

Witnesses said they had thought Ms Field was driving; such was the pace at which her car was thrown.

She was killed instantly, leaving behind her son, 6, daughter, 10 and stepdaughter, 13.

Bishop's inattention was described by Judge Robertson as "reckless", involving serious fault over a significant period of time.

Bishop had not been using his mobile phone, he had not been speeding and he was not under the influence of intoxicating substances.

He just wasn't watching the road.

"If you had been attentive you would have had time to slow and pass the vehicle on the left," Judge Robertson said.

References tendered on Bishop's behalf gave Judge Robertson the impression he was otherwise a decent, hardworking man who had made a terrible mistake.

Bishop and his partner have a four-month-old child.

Judge Robertson sentenced Bishop to two-and-a-half years in jail, suspended after 10 months.

He also suspended his driver licence for two years.

Ms Field's mother Jacqueline Mooney and her fiancé Kenneth Massey were in court for the sentence.

"There has been justice today and it's not a normal process for any family to go through," Ms Mooney said.

She had a message for Bishop.

"We have the life sentence as what he will have.

"Hold hope and faith and to walk through it but always concentrate on the road."

Ms Mooney said she currently drove past the site of her daughter's death on a weekly basis for work.

She said it was very difficult for her but was pleased the section of road was being upgraded.

"Seeing it happen, that in itself has been really positive."

Gympie Times

Topics:  crash editors picks jail traffic



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