Australia Ballarat garbage truck driver jailed over crash that killed 61yo grandmother Angela Loader
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A Ballarat garbage truck driver who hit and killed a grandmother while she was crossing the road on her way to work last year has been sentenced to 18 months in jail.
Jonathan Douglas Wilson, 46, failed to give way to pedestrian Angela Loader, 61, as she was crossing Eyre Street on her way to work on April 16, 2021.
He faced the Melbourne County Court on Friday morning and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death.
Judge Peter Rozen said there was no explanation for why Wilson failed to see Ms Loader as he turned from Doveton Street South onto Eyre Street.
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But he did accept Wilson was "genuinely remorseful".
A defence barrister read a letter to the court on Wilson's behalf, expressing sorrow and an apology to Ms Loader's family who were present for the hearing.
"He is still at a loss to understand and reconcile how it happened," he said.
"He is truly very sorry for what has happened. He thinks of these events every day. He thinks every day of the effect of those events and the effect of his actions on the family and friends of Ms Loader."
The defence counsel said the tragedy came down to "human fallibility".
"He simply did not see her," the defence said during an earlier hearing.
"It's not a situation that a man is tapping on his phone. He's not doing anything else but picking up the bins.
"There's nothing that suggests he failed to look, but he failed to see."
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Truck driver with 20 years' experience
Wilson was a City of Ballarat employee at the time. He had 20 years' experience driving trucks.
The court heard during an earlier sentence indication hearing he had emptied bins on the side of the road before turning and hitting Ms Loader at a speed of 20 kilometres an hour.
He was required to give way as there was no green arrow light and Ms Loader was legally crossing the road.
She was only one block away from her workplace at MatchWorks in Ballarat when the tragedy occurred.
Ms Loader was taken to hospital and died later that day from chest and head injuries.
Judge Rozen said during an earlier hearing, video footage showed Wilson had driven with no hesitation, as if Ms Loader was not there.
He concluded on Friday it was a "serious departure from the standard of care the law requires of an experienced driver".
Ms Loader's son Matthew Loader said in a victim impact statement it was the worst day of his life.
"I don't think I'll ever get over it," he said.
Daughter Michelle Huie said she felt lost and broken without her mother.
"I feel nervous every time I cross a road. She's left such a massive hole in my life," she said in her victim impact statement.
"Our family has been changed forever."
The court heard Wilson has experienced post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety since the incident.
He was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment with a nine-month non-parole period.
It would be his first time in custody.
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