A 19-year-old man will spend two years behind bars after his inattention on the road led to a horrific crash, which killed a 69-year-old grandfather.
Riley Jack Camin was 18 years old on January 20 this year when he was driving his mother’s white Toyota Hilux ute from Shepparton to Kyabram with his mate in the front passenger seat.
The pair were talking and Camin, distracted and on an unlit rural road, didn’t notice an upcoming intersection.
His car crashed into the driver’s side of Alexander Eagle’s own Toyota ute, causing the 69-year-old’s vehicle to roll and come to a rest on its side.
Mr Eagle, who was trapped in the car, was declared dead at the scene.
Camin and his 18-year-old passenger managed to climb out of the wreck. He remained at the scene while his friend was flown to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital (pictured) with a slew of injuries
Camin and his mate, also 18, managed to climb out of their wreck.
His friend was flown to The Alfred Hospital with injuries including a collapsed lung, ruptured diaphragm, fractured left thigh bone, hand fractures, bruising to his heart and damage to his liver and spleen.
Camin remained at the scene distressed, telling those who attended: ‘I didn’t even notice the intersection, I was just talking to my mate.
‘I slammed on the brakes but it was too late.’
An investigation later found Camin wasn’t on drugs or alcohol, and was doing about the 100km/h speed limit before he missed a stop sign and slammed on his brakes.
His defence lawyer said it was a case of momentary inattention with horrific consequences – a reality borne out in court, where Mr Eagle’s family described their loss.
The 69-year-old was fit, healthy, active, a beloved husband, father to three children, and grandfather to four grandchildren, the County Court of Victoria was told.
He was known as a man who could always fix things, and his wife said a recent storm that destroyed part of her home’s roof in Shepparton ‘nearly broke her’ because her husband wasn’t there to handle repairs.
The couple was married for 48 years and together for more than 50.
‘We should have had many more enjoyable years together,’ she told the court in a victim impact statement.
Camin’s mother said her son, now 19, and the rest of their family would never forget that night.
Camin – a lauded engineering fabrication apprentice, friend, local football captain and older brother – turned from a ‘happy-go-lucky kid’ into a withdrawn and defensive person, she said.
The 19-year-old’s lawyers did not argue against him receiving a jail term for dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing serious injury.
Camin pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing serious injury and was sentenced to two years behind bars
He pleaded guilty to both charges, showed genuine and heartfelt remorse and ‘sought to complete punishment without complaint’, Judge David Brookes said.
Camin’s employer said he would still have a job for him when he came out of jail.
His friend in the front passenger seat faced possible long-term injuries after the crash but had forgiven him for it, as had his mother who said Camin had become part of their family.
Judge Brookes sentenced Camin to two years behind bars, all of which he will serve in youth justice on account of his age.