The family of a man killed when a Victorian truck driver crashed into his car last year have been left without support in Pakistan and unable to visit Australia even to view his body.
Qurban Ali, 39, was on his way to work on 12 September last year when the concrete mixer rear-ended his car in Hallam and pushed it into another vehicle, crushing the front and trapping him inside. Paramedics cut an unconscious Ali free, but he died in hospital.
On Monday the driver of the truck, Benjamin Lee, 35, was jailed for three and a half years, with a non-parole period of two years.
He had taken his eyes off the road to take a drink of flavoured milk and did not see Ali’s car until it was too late to slow down.
The death of Ali, a permanent resident who migrated to Australia four years ago, has left his young family in a “volatile political environment” in Pakistan, the Victorian county court heard.
Ali’s wife and four children relied on his income and were in the process of applying for visas so they could come to Australia.
Their religious minority is targeted by militant groups and the family cannot afford school fees for the children because of the loss of Ali’s income, the court had previously been told.
A spousal visa application lodged by Ali in 2013 was classified as withdrawn after his death.
Ali’s body was kept at the coroner’s court for nine months while his wife unsuccessfully applied for temporary visas so that she and her children could say goodbye.
The court heard Ali was a “young, happy, caring person and father” who called his family daily.
Judge Sue Pullen on Monday said, as was often the case with road accidents, the tragic accident adversely affected the families of both the victim and the driver.
Lee sat in the dock with his head in his hands and dabbed his eyes with a tissue as the details of the crash were read out.
Pullen said he had expressed remorse and accepted his inattention was the reason for the collision, the results of which were tragic.
He had developed depression, anxiety and a phobia of driving or riding in cars.
Lee submitted to the court it was “momentary inattention”, but Pullen found there were “a significant number of seconds” when he was not looking at the road.
Article Source: theguardian